Monday, 16 July, 2018

Sean Hannity says he never retained Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Melinda Barton | 17 April, 2018, 00:32

President Donald Trump's personal attorney has been forced to reveal that another of his clients is Fox News host Sean Hannity.

"I never paid legal fees to Michael", but Hannity said he did have legal conversations with Cohen about which he asked for his "perspective". "I never retained him in a traditional sense".

Fox News host Shepard Smith acknowledged Hannity's connection to Cohen on the air Monday. He assumed those discussions were covered by attorney-client privilege, he said, and emphasized that they were never about matters involving "any third party".

In their letter to US District Judge Kimba M. Wood, Cohen's attorneys Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan wrote that the third client did not allow them to reveal the fact that they utilized Cohen's services.

They called the Federal Bureau of Investigation raids on Cohen's home, office and hotel room "an operation disquieting to lawyers, clients, citizens, and commentators alike", and repeatedly referred to their client, whom they represent in a personal capacity, as "the president".

Cohen has acknowledged paying pornographic actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 for what her lawyer said was silence about her alleged liaison with Trump shortly before the 2016 election.

Journalist Gabriel Sherman told MSNBC that sources told him Hannity had talked to Cohen advice about going after left-wing groups who had been trying to take him off the air.

They also said that Cohen appeared to have few clients other than the President and they had not uncovered any emails between the two suggesting the potential risk of violating attorney client privilege was slim. Separately, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has also said she had an affair with Trump, received $150,000 from the parent company of the National Enquirer.

So an attorney for Cohen - who had asked whether he could submit the name to the judge in a sealed envelope, or to the "special master" - had no choice but to reveal it in open court.

Trump denies any sexual relationship with Daniels. "Michael never represented me in any matter".

The hearing ended on Monday with no ruling on who gets to filter the seized documents.

Prosecutors with the U.S. 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.