On Monday afternoon, President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was forced to reveal the name of his third, previously undisclosed client: Fox News host Sean Hannity. In a response issued shortly after he was named publicly, Hannity said he had only asked Cohen legal advice, never having officially retained him or paid him legal fees.
The disclosure comes a week after the FBI raided the offices, home, and hotel room of Cohen, Trump’s “fixer,” who was at the center of the $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels, as well as the alleged payment of $1.3 million by RNC fundraiser Elliott Broidy to a former Playboy model he impregnated.
Early reports indicated that investigators believe Cohen may be guilty of bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say Cohen is being investigated for “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings.”
As part of the investigation, Judge Kimba Wood ordered Cohen on Monday to reveal the name of his third high-profile client as she weighs an emergency action by his attorneys to stop review of the documents seized by the FBI. The New York Post reports:
Cohen fought against having to reveal the confidential list — all of three clients — as part of a bid to block the feds from reviewing documents that could be protected under attorney-client privilege. His lawyer Steve Ryan argued — in vain — that the unnamed third client is a “publicly prominent individual” who didn’t want to be associated with the ongoing investigation into Cohen’s business.
Cohen says he’s had 10 clients between 2017 and 2018, seven of them involving business consulting. The other three were Trump, Broidy, and Hannity.
Hannity has since responded to the claim that he was Cohen’s “client”:
“This is perhaps the most highly publicized search warrant in the history of recent American criminal jurisprudence,” Cohen’s lawyers argued in a letter requesting the emergency action. “It is paramount that the review of Mr. Cohen’s data and documents be handled in such a way as to eliminate, as much as possible, even the ‘appearance of unfairness.'”
CNN provides some more details on the response of Team Trump:
Late Sunday, lawyers for Trump asked for copies of the seized material to be turned over so the President could review them for confidential information.
Prosecutors with the US attorney’s office in Manhattan said they have a “filter team” of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients.
This article has been updated to include Hannity’s response.