Fox News' Sean Hannity reacted Monday to the revelation that he is the "mystery" third client of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.
On Monday afternoon's "Sean Hannity Radio Show," Hannity was largely dismissive regarding the significance of the news, which was making headlines across various media outlets. Hannity denied ever retaining Cohen's services as an attorney (or even ever paying him more than 10 dollars).
Here are some of his most intriguing remarks.
Hannity repeatedly used the phrase "attorney-client" privilege and insisted he largely utilized Cohen as a legal consultant.
- Never paid him legal fees.
"I ’ve known Michael a long long time," Hannity said. "Michael never represented me in any matter. I never retained him in the traditional sense. I never paid legal fees to Michael. "
“I might have handed him 10 bucks," the "Hannity" host later said.
- One of many.
“I have eight attorneys. I like to have people I can run questions by.”
- On Cohen's magnanimity.
“Michael would very generously give me his time.”
- The media's role in all of this. Hannity characterized the media's response as an overreaction at various points during the segment.
“Why do you think the media is going insane on this?” he said. He also criticized the media for " always hoping for the worst when it relates to any conservative."
The news dropped during Cohen's court appearance Monday for a lawsuit against the FBI for raiding his office and hotel room. Presiding judge Kimba Wood demanded a list of Cohen's 2018 clients to properly evaluate whether the FBI could proceed with their investigation into the seized documents.
Cohen's client list included President Trump and former RNC financial chairman Elliott Broidy. Until today, the third client on that list had remained a mystery.
Cohen's other attorney Steve Ryan says the third client is a "publicly prominent individual," and he didn't want the name to be released from the public.— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 16, 2018
A request for individual privacy, however, wasn't enough for Judge Wood, who demanded the "legal grounds" for withholding the client's name.
Judge Wood wants to know the "legal grounds" for withholding the client's name.— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 16, 2018
After commenting on Cohen's responsibilities, Ryan says: "I'm simply trying to protect the privacy of that individual."
An attorney for the press objects, notes that the public also has a right.
Wood found "that a client's fear of guilt by association is not enough to prevent disclosure." Thus, the name would be disclosed.
BREAKING: Judge Wood rules that the name "must be disclosed publicly now."— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 16, 2018
And, well, it's safe to say he's anonymous no more:
"The client's name is Sean Hannity"— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 16, 2018
The shock-wave of Hannity's name drop has yet to settle, but perhaps none were as bewildered as Hannity himself. After the news broke, Hannity's radio show spun into turmoil, with Hannity himself not appearing for ten minutes and clips of the ABC News Comey interview airing instead.
Is there any significance to Hannity's link to Michael Cohen?
It seems a little unethical of Hannity to have been covering the Michael Cohen raids without disclosing that he’s a client.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 16, 2018
One viewpoint, from Vox's Matthew Yglesias, is that it "seems a little unethical." Hannity himself clearly feels differently.
Though its actual significance remains unclear, this breathtaking plot twist is certainly worthy of a courtroom drama.
David E. Kelley, are you taking notes?