Last night, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, explained why the revelation of Sean Hannity as Michael Cohen’s mystery client is even more significant – and potentially more damaging – than what we already know about Hannity's conflict of interest on the air.
Last night, I noted that even if Sean Hannity is telling the truth when he says he has never been a client of beleaguered Trump attorney Michael Cohen, that does not mean the two were not involved in other matters. In fact, some of Hannity’s cagey language suggested there is more there there. The fact that Cohen, apparently with Hannity’s approval, tried to assert attorney-client privilege over documents, emails, etc. involving Hannity was even more suspicious.
Avenatti tied it all together on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night. He theorized that by asserting attorney-client privilege with Hannity, Cohen was seeking to keep hidden something involving Hannity:
AVENATTI: Lawrence, I don’t know this for a fact but I’m gonna take a pretty good guess at something. There is no question in my mind that there is one or more documents with Sean Hannity’s name on it that Michael Cohen does not want disclosed. There’s no question that - otherwise you don’t even go down this road. There’s no reason to even mention Sean Hannity’s name. You don’t even go down this road, OK? There is one or more documents in what has been collected. This is just instinctually what I know as an 18-year trial lawyer who’s dealt with a lot of big cases, OK? There is a reason why they want Sean Hannity’s name as a client and it has everything to do not with what happened today but with the next shoe to drop which involves a document, an email, a text message. There is something –
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL (HOST): Or a tape - because we know Michael Cohen has taped phone calls with people. He could have taped a phone call with Sean Hannity.
AVENATTI: There is something there. Michael Cohen doesn’t just volunteer the name Sean Hannity as a client unless there is a document that they want to deep-six or keep confidential. It doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen.
The other guest, attorney Jill Wine-Banks agreed. She drove the point home that that something is not about any legal advice Cohen provided Hannity.
WINE-BANKS: I’d like to add to one thing Michael said which is I agree with him that there has to be a reason he said it and that it’s because he’s trying to keep something quiet but I’ll also add that I’ll bet that it isn’t legal advice that he’s trying to keep quiet. It has something to do with having a conversation about protecting Donald Trump or having Sean Hannity say something on-air to protect him, that it has nothing to do with any legal advice that Michael Cohen gave to Sean Hannity.
Avenatti nodded as she spoke.
If you ask me, this is the real significance of yesterday’s revelation. And while it’s bad enough that Hannity has been on the air criticizing the FBI raid on Cohen without disclosing his “sort of a client” status, I believe that much worse will be revealed about what Hannity has been up to behind the scenes that he should have disclosed.
Watch the discussion below, from MSNBC’s April 17, 2018 The Last Word with Michael Avenatti.
The Fall of the House of Trump will feature more horror than anything Edgar Allen Poe could have imagined.