Today, Donald Trump’s Attorney, Michael Cohen was forced to reveal that Sean Hannity is the third client Cohen had been trying to keep secret because of attorney-client privilege. But now, Hannity is claiming that Cohen never represented him.
According to Think Progress, Cohen refused to reveal the identity of his third legal client because the client “directed Cohen not to reveal the identity publicly.” The other two are Trump and Eliott Broidy. You may recall that the married Broidy just resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after it was revealed that Cohen had arranged for $1.6 million in hush money to a pregnant, former Playboy model.
Cohen is claiming that his records seized in an FBI raid last week should be off limits to prosecutors because they are subject to an attorney-client privilege. But now that he has been outed, Hannity claims Cohen was never his lawyer. However, Hannity used carefully parsed language that suggests wiggle room.
TVNewser reports (with my emphases):
“I have known Michael Cohen for a long time, but he has never represented me in any matter,” Hannity stated on his radio show.
I never gave him a retainer. Never paid any fees. I may have handed him $10 once. I requested attorney-client privilege with him, but have never had any matter with him and any third party.”
Got that? Hannity thought he deserved “attorney-client privilege” at the same time that he says Cohen never represented him in any matter. Then Hannity acknowledges he "may have” given Cohen some money but never had “any matter with him” involving a third party.
Hannity also tweeted a series of statements that sounded like they had been informed, if not crafted, by legal counsel. What non-lawyer casually uses the word “de minimis?”
Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 16, 2018
I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 16, 2018
In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf, I have no personal interest in this proceeding, and, in fact, asked that my de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen,— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 16, 2018
which dealt almost exclusively about real estate, not be made a part of this proceeding.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Gabriel Sherman reports that Hannity sought Cohen’s advice regarding last year’s advertiser boycott.
Watch Fox reporter Laura Ingle downplay the revelation that Hannity is Cohen's mystery client below, via The Daily Beast’s Matt Wilstein.
(Hannity image via screengrab.)
Hannity: Here’s ten dollars.
Cohen (crying): Th…Thank you, Sean. I…I…just…I don’t know what to say. This is honestly so good of you. You’re a good man, Sean. I mean…wow.
Hannity: Are you OK?
Cohen: Yes. It’s just that…Donald only TELLS me I’m getting ten dollars.
If Merri Jill was smart she would leave this clown before she loses everything in the mansion.
More damaging information will be printed in major newspapers.
He should be on suicide watch.