This DEFINITELY doesn’t look good for Sean Hannity or Fox News.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer whose offices got raided in connection with the Mueller investigation, didn’t have a “real” law practice in the traditional sense of how people normally think of it. He worked primarily as a “fixer” for the Trump Organization, setting up foreign deals, and also happened to have a law degree. He’s used his legal expertise to help Trump keep some news stories hushed up, notably the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs, but doesn’t have a long list of clients.
According to reports from the legal activity surrounding the raid on his office, he’s got a few clients. One of them is obviously Donald Trump. Another was recently revealed to be Republican National Committee Deputy Finance Chair Elliot Broidy (whose activities are also reportedly under scrutiny by the Mueller investigation). Broidy admitted to paying Cohen $250k to help him keep an affair with a Playboy Playmate (who received a $1.6 million payout and an abortion).
Michael Cohen charged a Republican fundraiser 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS to negotiate a hush money agreement with a woman he had an affair with.
He paid another $1.6 million to the woman. https://t.co/oKCj07Wgc1
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 16, 2018
Court documents revealed there was a mysterious third client who didn’t want to be named, but no one could figure it out. Until now.
Turns out Michael Cohen did a little secret legal work for Fox News’ Sean Hannity:
BREAKING: Attorney for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Cohen performed secret legal work for Fox News commentator Sean Hannity.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 16, 2018
Given Cohen’s area of expertise—paying hush money to women who’ve had affairs with powerful conservative men—people are speculating this legal work could be in the same vein:
Cohen only has three clients, we know he’s negotiated hush agreements with women for two of them…
What are the chances he did so for his third as well?
TICK. TOCK. pic.twitter.com/GKKRk603Ji
— IAteAButterfly ? (@AteButterfly) April 16, 2018
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) April 16, 2018
Others are wondering why TF Hannity gets to go on Fox News every night to demand an end to the Mueller investigation and the Cohen prosecution given that he has a conflict of interest bigger than his giant red head:
So Sean Hannity has been using his perch at Fox News to rail against the investigation into someone who he didn’t disclose was his own lawyer. https://t.co/gGjz3uPMoz
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) April 16, 2018
Sean Hannity called the raid of Michael Cohen’s files “mission creep” and a “fishing expedition.” “If he has access to everything that his personal attorney has, I can only imagine where that’s going to lead.” A week later it would lead to him. https://t.co/DoT6y6RY4W
— Matt Viser (@mviser) April 16, 2018
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) April 16, 2018
Hannity being wrapped up in the Trump/Cohen drama is a PERFECT ILLUSTRATION of the role Fox News plays as the propaganda arm for the Republican party. https://t.co/pyTQyPJHan
— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 16, 2018
Others are mocking Fox News for downplaying the news that their star could be involved in the massive corruption investigation:
CNN: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
BBC: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
ABC: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
NBC: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
MTV: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
CBS: Hannity named as Cohen’s client.
FOX: PANDAS ARE F*CKING LIKE CRAZY YOU GUYS!
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) April 16, 2018
Fox eventually got around to briefly covering it, but hasn’t answered any questions about, you know, HIS CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
On Fox, Shep Smith addresses Hannity: “We just spoke with his publicist here at Fox News who says that he says they’ve been friends for a long time, he never denied that he he was his lawyer, that he did some legal work along the way, and that’s the extent of that.”
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) April 16, 2018
“Not denying” is not the same as “offering full disclosure.” If any other reporter or commentator had a conflict of interest this huge involving an earth-shattering investigation like this, Hannity’s giant head would go nuclear.
Hannity defensively addressed this issue on his radio show and Twitter:
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
Hannity saying he’s never retained Cohen or paid him legal fees could mean there’s no attorney-client privilege there, or could be used to argue there’s no attorney-client privilege by the prosecution. Hannity may come to regret offering such a categorical denial if the work Cohen did for him winds up being similar to his other work, which, again, is covering up for GOP men who can’t keep their zippers zipped.