Trump lawyer forced to reveal another client: Fox News host Sean Hannity


Photographs by AP Photo

This combination photo shows, from left, President Donald Trump, attorney Michael Cohen and adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

NEW YORK — A legal fight over what should happen to records the FBI seized from President Donald Trump's personal attorney took a surprise twist Monday when the lawyer, Michael Cohen, was forced to reveal a secret — that he had also done legal work for Fox News host Sean Hannity.

The disclosure came as attorneys for Cohen and Trump tried to persuade a New York judge to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said in hearings Friday and Monday that if Cohen wanted the court to declare that some of his files were protected because of attorney confidentiality rules, he would have to divulge the names of the clients he's worked with since the 2016 election.

One was, of course, Trump himself. Another was Elliot Broidy, a Trump fundraiser who resigned from the Republican National Committee on Friday after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair. The Playmate became pregnant and elected to have an abortion.

With Cohen by their side Monday, lawyers initially resisted revealing the name of the third client for privacy reasons, saying it would be embarrassing for the client.

But Wood pressed on.

"I understand he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law," she said.

When the name was announced, there were gasps and some laughter in a courtroom packed with journalists. A few of them raced from the courtroom.

Cohen's lawyers did not detail the type of legal work he did for Hannity. Cohen, in a light blue tie and dark suit, spent most of the hearing looking forward, his hands folded.

On his radio show, Hannity said Cohen was never involved in any matter between him and any third party.

"Michael never represented me in any matter," Hannity said. "I never retained him in any traditional sense. I never received an invoice. I never paid a legal fee. I had brief discussions with him about legal questions where I wanted his input and perspective."

Hannity, an outspoken supporter of Trump, has been a fierce critic of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Monday's hearing began with an appearance by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was swarmed by photographers and nearly fell as she was hustled into the courthouse.

The last to enter court, she was among the first to leave. While in court, she smiled several times as she observed the proceedings from a folding chair near the back of the room. Outside afterward, she said Cohen has acted like he's above the law and that she and her lawyer are committed to making sure everyone learns the truth.

The April 9 raid on Cohen sought information on a variety of matters, including a $130,000 payment made to Daniels, who alleges she had sex with a married Trump in 2006.

At issue is exactly who gets to look at Cohen's seized documents and devices before they are turned over to prosecutors. Attorneys for Cohen say they want first crack. Trump's lawyers say they also want some form of prior review. Another option is to set up a "special master" who would vet the material to determine what is protected and what isn't; that is the Cohen team's second choice.

Prosecutors, who say they raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room as part of an undisclosed crime related to his personal business dealings, prefer the ordinary procedure of reviewing the documents with a panel of prosecutors unrelated to the investigation — a so-called "taint team."

People familiar with the probe told The Associated Press that agents were seeking bank records, records on Cohen's dealing in the taxi industry, Cohen's communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made in 2016 to two women who say they had affairs with Trump, former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the porn star Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Lawyers for Cohen filed papers Monday saying investigators "took everything" during the raids, including more than a dozen electronic devices. They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen.

One of Trump's lawyers, Joanna Hendon, asked the judge to block prosecutors from studying material seized in the raid until Cohen and the president have both had a chance to review those materials and argue which are subject to the "sacred" attorney-client privilege.

"The seized materials relating to the president must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President," Hendon wrote in court papers filed Sunday.

Wood adjourned the hearing Monday, rejecting Hendon's request for a temporary restraining order on the grounds that it was too early for such an objection. As a first step, the judge said the government should put the documents in a searchable database to determine which should come under review. Prosecutors said they expected they could determine by midweek how fast they can accomplish that.

Trump, who was in Florida on Monday, said all lawyers are now "deflated and concerned" by the FBI raid on Cohen.

"Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past," he tweeted Sunday. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


PopMom says...

Of course he does. He is a liar and a crook.

Posted 16 April 2018, 1 p.m. Suggest removal

MaxCady says...

The courtroom will be packed with lecherous old men!

Posted 16 April 2018, 1:09 p.m. Suggest removal

hah406 says...

Now if we could just get Wikileaks to publish his tax returns...

Posted 16 April 2018, 1:10 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

The great and powerful oz has spoken, "Do not look behind the curtain, Ignore the man behind the curtain.!!!!!!"

Travis it will be like in the days of the inquisition, most pious men will do their duty be carefully examining all the secret places of the stormy weather ahead. Question is will that "grabbing" stuff be allowed or is that only reserved for locker rooms and not court rooms.

Perhaps orangeman could take a simple lie detector test and we could just move on , or like benghazi look at the many unanswered questions out there. Relevance, why would that now be brought up by the right. Oh yes, Uncle Joe says, the gop has 2 sides to their lying mouths, and yes they have no bananas .

Posted 16 April 2018, 1:22 p.m. Suggest removal

MaxCady says...

I like your style, MrC.

Posted 16 April 2018, 2:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Dontsufferfools says...

Sure. He's a crook, liar, adulterer, cheat, welsher. But he's right on the issues, such as increasing the national debt, crashing commodity prices, freeing polluters, rattling the stock markets, alienating our allies and comforting our enemies.

Posted 16 April 2018, 3:04 p.m. Suggest removal

BOLTAR says...

Hannity is the man in Cohen's closet. Too funny.

Posted 16 April 2018, 3:18 p.m. Suggest removal

ToTheLeft says...

When trump disagrees with someone or something, it is a lying person or fake news. Listening to his “broken record” is way past old.

Posted 16 April 2018, 3:27 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Stormy Daniels featured act. Was there a cover charge in court today?
A former wanna be Playboy Bunny (Judge Kimba Wood) and a former porn star (DD Daniels) facing each other in court. OMG, you CANNOT make this stuff up.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:05 p.m. Suggest removal

BoudinMan says...

I keep saying that you could not make this stuff up if you tried. But, the 30 per centers will try to make this look perfectly normal, like, you know, this happens all the time. Everybody does this.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:21 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

The reason why Hannity hired Cohen WILL come out; the clock is ticking. He’s been accused of sexual harassment. There are even rumors he swings both ways. He also didn’t disclose that he was a client of Cohen’s while reporting on the raid on Cohen. Can’t wait, can’t wait!

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:26 p.m. Suggest removal

Jfish says...

I would wager that every commenter on this board has something in their life that they would not want disclosed publicly.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:39 p.m. Suggest removal

BOLTAR says...

I wager no commenter on this board claims the legitimate authority to lead our nation as President.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:55 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...


You are wrong. I am pretty much an open book (so far). Perhaps, I will get into trouble in the next couple of years though. LOL.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:55 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Jfish - I don’t disagree with you. I have hairstyles I wouldn’t want disclosed publicly and, mercifully, I sported them pre-digital photo/pre-internet. The difference with Hannity and his ilk is that he pretended otherwise and shilled for those with MUCH to hide. What happened to Hannity today is called karma. It’s coming for Trump and, it is as previously reported, a bee-otch.

Posted 16 April 2018, 5:01 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

The rhetorical gymnastics on display from the Trumpanzee apologists are no small source of joy and entertainment.

Posted 16 April 2018, 5:37 p.m. Suggest removal

hah406 says...

Well Packman, you are right. No matter from what side, you simply can't make this stuff up. The writers of a show like Dynasty or Scandal would love to have material this hot. If Hannity does go both ways, make a note that I want a date with the dude. I know I could get him to spill every secret! :)

Posted 16 April 2018, 5:38 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Hannity claims ‘attorney client privelege’ while simultaneously saying he ‘never hired Cohen’ as an attorney and that he may have ‘given him $10 to advise on a real estate matter.’ I’m guessing that ‘real estate matter’ was whether or not he’d have to sell his house to pay off someone with dirt on him.

Posted 16 April 2018, 5:45 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

What is really shocking is how those on the right accept this as if it's completely legitimate to have these kind of affairs and still maintain power, to degrade women sexually then court the religious right as if they are blameless. Our presidency has not seen such a disgusting level of behavior in recent history. This EXCEEDS anything former Pres. Clinton ever did and we're not even finished.
It's interesting to see the number of indictments by administration and to compare them. Republicans apparently are one of the most corrupt parties in our nation's recent history, but attempt to paint Democrats as the bad guys.

Posted 16 April 2018, 5:46 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

I have a problem with a "journalist" criticizing a raid when he had such a big conflict.

Posted 16 April 2018, 6:06 p.m. Suggest removal

BOLTAR says...

He is yet another example of the integrity of Faux News personalities, PopMom. Imagine how confused one would be if that propaganda network was one's primary news source..

Posted 16 April 2018, 7:27 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Hey hah - What would you do, waterboard the poor guy?

Posted 16 April 2018, 7:33 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

YAWN...you "progs" get back to me when you have an actual victory against President Trump...I won't hold my breath...
BTW, losers, it'll never happen!

Posted 16 April 2018, 10:06 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

And this just in: the judge DENIED Trump’s lawyers’ request to have the info seized from Cohen reviewed before it’s released to prosecutors. Buckle up!

Posted 16 April 2018, 10:10 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

This is all so great.

Posted 16 April 2018, 10:55 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

Drip, drip, drip....

Posted 17 April 2018, 7:05 a.m. Suggest removal

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