SAYS WHO?

Michael Cohen Forced to Reveal His Mystery Client Is Sean Hannity

Lawyers for Trump’s fixer tried to keep secret the identity of his client. It turns out to be the Fox News host, which means the FBI seized files on him.

Photo illustration by The Daily Beast

Michael Cohen had as a client Fox News host Sean Hannity, Cohen's lawyers were forced to reveal in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Monday.

Cohen, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, was present at a hearing where his attorneys challenged the FBI’s seizure last week of documents he claims are protected by attorney-client privilege. The lawyers told a judge last week that “thousands” of seized documents may be privileged, but they declined to name Cohen’s clients.

On Monday, the lawyers wrote to the judge that Cohen had three recent clients: President Donald Trump; Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, for whom he negotiated respective non-disclosure agreements with alleged mistresses; and a third unnamed individual.

Calling the third client a “publicly prominent individual,” Cohen’s attorney, Steve Ryan, offered to disclose the name only to Judge Kimba Wood.  

“I’m simply trying to protect the privacy of that individual,” he said.

After much discussion, Judge Wood ruled that the name must be publicly disclosed immediately.

“The client's name is Sean Hannity,” Harrison said, to audible gasps and laughter in the courtroom.

While Hannity said he has sought legal advice from Cohen, he said Cohen “never represented me in any matter.” Hannity said on Twitter the advice was “almost exclusively about real estate.”

Hannity added via a spokesperson that he “assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”

On his radio show following the news, Hannity didn’t say why he worked with Cohen. Though he said he may have “handed Cohen ten bucks” to establish attorney-client privilege, Hannity said he never worked with him on “any specific matter.”

Further, the Fox News host added that the advice he sought was unrelated to “any matter with him between me and a third party.”

“I think it’s pretty funny,” he said. “It’s very strange to have my own television network have my name up on the lower third.”

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— additional reporting by Max Tani