Apr 17, 2018, 12:21 AM ET

Sean Hannity disputes Michael Cohen claim he was a client


Fox News host Sean Hannity disputes a claim that he was a client of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney — an assertion Cohen’s lawyers made in court on Monday during a surprising turn in the legal spat over records seized by the FBI.

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Cohen’s legal team was ordered to reveal the name to a federal judge in New York after writing in court papers that Cohen performed legal work for three clients between 2017-2018: Donald Trump, Elliot Broidy and an unnamed third client.

“I understand he doesn’t want his name out there,” Judge Kimba Wood said. “That’s not enough under the law.”

PHOTO: Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York, April 16, 2018. Cohen has been under criminal investigation and FBI agents last week raided his home and other locations.Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York, April 16, 2018. Cohen has been under criminal investigation and FBI agents last week raided his home and other locations.

Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, arranged the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Broidy, a former GOP fundraiser, resigned from the Republican National Committee on Friday after acknowledging making a $1.6 million payment to a model he impregnated.

It’s not yet clear what services Cohen said he allegedly provided Hannity.

Hannity said in a statement that Cohen never represented him.

"Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees," Hannity said. "I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective. I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party."

PHOTO: Fox News host Sean Hannity is seen in the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2017.NicholasKamm/AFP via Getty Images FILE
Fox News host Sean Hannity is seen in the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2017.

Hannity addressed the issue briefly at the end of his show on Monday night and said he only spoke to Cohen for legal advice and real estate questions.

"Am I surprised by any of this? No, of course not. This is with the media in this country does," Hannity said. "Let me set the record straight. Here's the truth. Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal manner. I never retained his services. I never received an invoice. I never paid Michael Cohen for legal fees. I did have occasional brief conversations with Michael Cohen -- he is a great attorney -- about legal questions I had.

"My questions exclusively focused on real estate," he added. "I said many times on my radio show, I hate the stock market, I prefer real estate. Michael knows real estate. In response to all the wild speculation, I want to set the record straight here tonight. ... I have no personal interest in this legal matter. That is all there is. Nothing more."

News - Sean Hannity disputes Michael Cohen claim he was a client

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  • hkzombie1

    My comment- saying that seeing Hannity having rough time made me happy - was
    removed. I consider myself really kind, not mean but I can’t help but feel no compassion for Hannity.

  • kritikosman

    Now his lawyer is a liar too? This from the liar who supports a Liar-in-chief. #LiarsLLC

  • MAGreenA

    It's pretty funny when someone like Sean Hannity feels a need to distance himself from Trump's and his own attorney. Cohen validates my dislike with most all lawyers who are like sharks. I know there are those lawyers who trully help people. But Cohen, Trump, Hannity are scum buddies, Rolling on the floor laughing.(ROTFL). What a soap opera this administration is.

  • Lionel Stander

    Translation - it's about the apartment that Hannity uses for his own mistresses not Trump's or Cohen's and he thought he'd trade favors for the free advice. By the way, I had to laugh when I saw the link showing that Judge Napalitano at FOX holding forth on all this has transacted close to $10,000,000 of deals in Trump properties. No law against that, but it is a full disclosure issue if you're really working as a journalist, at a real news source. Of course we all know FOX is FAUX not Real and that therefore Judge Nap is Innocent of being proved Guilty since there's no expectation that he'll be anything but crooked and slippery as a drainpipe.

  • Heavy Rain is Coming

    "Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers" as per the Atlantic.

    hannity is a hypocrite, the same as entire fox network AND their viewers.

  • KYWiccan

    Where is the popcorn? They are going to start throwing each other under the bus.

  • kritikosman

    Shady chatter. If Hannity never hired him, then there's no client/attorney privilege--right(?)

  • adamrussell

    Hey we just discussed real estate. I wanted to know a good mortgage
    company to use to pay off my hooker. Cohen knows all about that stuff.

  • janie

    LOL! Nobody believes you Hannity!

  • John Galt

    Seanity, you might want to get a real lawyer and pay him Slick Mike the Fixer is going to burn you.

  • R C

    These posts are exactly why Hannity wanted to remain anonymous. Guilt by association even if having done nothing wrong.

  • GorillaMyDreams

    If Hannity wasn't a client, why did he tell Cohen's lawyers he didn't want his name revealed? A non-client wouldn't need to do that, right? I mean, I never told the lawyers not to release my name...

  • paul miller

    Maybe Hannity loves having Cohen whisper sweet nothings into his ear

  • Cow Dog

    "I assumed those conversations were confidential..." Well , surprise Hannity, they are only confidential if there is attorney CLIENT privilege. So you were a client and the records were taken under a legal warrant. Or if you insist you were not a client, then no warrant was needed to obtain the records legally. Your choice.

  • GP

    Comment moderating and deleting are on overload for this one. Essentially Hannity is saying that Cohen is a incorrect when Cohen was asked by a judge to name his third client - is that what I am reading above. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

  • BigRead

    Yeah, but was Hannity Stormy's client? And really you need a fixer for advice on a real estate transaction? Wonder if even his wife bought that story.

  • Lavendar62

    With the number of lies Hannity has made, who is to believe him now?

  • JB210

    Sean, if Cohen never represented you in any legal manner, and you never paid him anything, then you have no reason to expect any confidentiality. Perhaps friendship - but then, are you really treating Cohen like a real friend now, denying that you had any legal relationship? You asked for professional advice from a professional, a lawyer, yet you didn't pay for it and claim it was 'all for friendship' and not a professional relationship. Well then, none of the customary confidentiality nor the formal "attorney-client" privilege can apply to that advice, nor to the knowledge of the relationship. Either you were a client or not a client. If you were not a client, then you can claim no expectation of confidentiality, nor shield you relationship from public knowledge. So which was it?

  • wiseone

    This matter with Cohen and Hannity is being processed in a State Court, not Federal. Cohen's investigation is actually separate from the Mueller probe. Trump can't pardon him. It appears Cohen has serious legal problems. I expect Hannity has too, simply because he works for Fox that is infested with corruption.

  • Hank R

    I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about concerning this issue.

  • SimpleTruthSeeker

    One too many drunken weekends at Mara-A-Lago for family man Sean.
    It all started out so innocent.

  • Siestasis42

    Wow an attorney that does not bill you for services rendered and pays money out of his own pocket to buy silence. What a guy,

  • R C

    Well ... if he was never a client there shouldn't be any files. What's the problem? And if there are they should be innocuous. Still, it would seem that who Hannity has as an attorney is nobody's business.

  • drathvedar

    What a circus. Good god.