- Michael Cohen’s third client is Sean Hannity.
- Hannity’s identity as the client was disclosed in federal court on Monday.
- Hannity did not want his name to be revealed, according to Cohen’s attorneys.
A federal judge on Monday ordered the release of the name of the third client of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer.
And it turns out that client is none other than the Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Cohen’s attorneys said in a filing that Cohen had represented three clients in the past year, including Trump and Elliott Broidy, a Republican fundraiser.
Earlier Monday, the attorneys argued that the third client’s name should remain anonymous.
In their letter to US District Judge Kimba Wood, Cohen’s attorneys, Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan, wrote that the third client did not allow them to disclose that they had used Cohen’s services.
“Of the three legal clients, Donald J. Trump and Elliot Broidy have allowed us to reveal the fact that they are legal clients,” Harrison and Ryan wrote. “The other legal client indicated that they did not authorise their name to be publicly filed in connection with this matter and directed Mr. Cohen to appeal any order to disclose their name.”
But that didn’t hold up with Wood, who insisted the third client be disclosed publicly at Monday’s hearing.
It was not immediately clear what legal work Cohen provided Hannity. In a tweet, Hannity said it was “almost exclusively about real estate.”
Cohen arranged a $US130,000 payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election to ensure her silence about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. Cohen also facilitated a $US1.6 million payment to a former Playboy model who said Broidy got her pregnant, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Hannity told The Journal that he and Cohen “have been friends a long time” and that he had “sought legal advice” from him.
During his Monday radio show, Hannity said he had used eight attorneys in his life and insisted he “never retained” Cohen “in the traditional sense.”
“Michael never represented me in any matter,” Hannity said, adding: “I never received an invoice from Michael. I never paid legal fees to Michael.”
But Hannity said he asked Cohen “brief” legal questions, adding that may have handed Cohen $US10 and said, “I want privilege to cover me about this conversation.”
Hannity said the media was going “nuts” about the story because of the idea that Cohen was involved in “a big settlement case for Hannity.”
“They’re hoping for the worst when it relates to any conservative,” he said.
The Fox News host on Monday night sent out a more formal statement on his relationship with Cohen, saying the lawyer “has never represented me in any matter.”
“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party,” Hannity said.
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