In New York today, a judge ordered Michael Cohen to reveal the name of a third client, someone who didn't want to be named. It's Sean Hannity.
What was Michael Cohen doing for Sean Hannity? We don't know.
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
The other two Cohen clients we know about are President Donald Trump and Republican National Committee power broker Elliott B. Broidy.
Cohen is not much of a lawyer. He's more of a 'fixer' in the organized crime sense of the term.
For Broidy, Cohen arranged a settlement of $1.6 million to a woman with whom Broidy had a sexual relationship that resulted in a pregnancy which the woman terminated. Effectively, one could say that Cohen brokered funds for a married politician's mistress to have an abortion.
For Trump, Cohen did a lot of different dirty deeds.
The legal matter at hand involves Cohen having arranged a settlement of $130K to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, with whom Donald Trump had a sexual affair before he became President.
Today, shortly after he was outed as Cohen's third client, Sean Hannity addressed the matter himself on his Fox News radio show.
"It's very strange to have my own television network have my name up on the lower third," he said.
He seemed distracted as he spoke, stopping to answer incoming text messages, pausing periodically for silence.
And it really is strange. Sean Hannity is a TV pundit, but he's also President Trump's single most powerful supporter in broadcast media, a surrogate voice with volume turned up to 11, the frequency tuned to just the right spectrum of hate.
1) It's Monday.
2) Is there a fourth client?
Why does Sean Hannity need a fixer? https://t.co/aUAqrN63Kj
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 16, 2018
"Hang on. I gotta send this. 'I am on air.' I wish everybody would stop calling me." –Sean Hannity on his show just now.
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) April 16, 2018
Sean Hannity just now addressed the announcement on his radio show. "It's very strange to watch my own television network with my name in the lower third."
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) April 16, 2018
"I'm not just the president of Trump's Hush Money Club for Men, I'm also a client" pic.twitter.com/3oWA8AKFTU
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) April 16, 2018
Cohen attorney Steve Ryan: "I know that materials for the Trump Organization are in the materials that have been seized."
— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) April 16, 2018
Michael Cohen doesn't seem to be much of a lawyer, and has served mostly as a "fixer" for his other clients (Elliot Broidy and Donald Trump). So… what exactly does he do for Sean Hannity (AKA client number 3)…
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 16, 2018
State media operates under a different set of rules. https://t.co/Xwj8nAYkJ6
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) April 16, 2018
Of all the possible Michael Cohen mystery clients in the world, Sean Hannity might be the least surprising possibility. Cohen's other two clients, Elliot Broidy and the President of the United States, needed his help paying off women to avoid sex scandals. https://t.co/XiUfidQ30y
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 16, 2018
3. A source familiar with the representation tells CNN that what Hannity hired Cohen for did not involve a 3rd party – meaning an NDA involving a woman etc.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) April 16, 2018
The Sean Hannity radio show just started. There's SILENCE.
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) April 16, 2018
He had some thoughts on the Cohen raid. pic.twitter.com/HhP7p7VLZI
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 16, 2018
As an ethicist, I can tell you that in any normal media organization this would merit immediate suspension pending a determination on firing. At Fox he will probably get a promotion. https://t.co/CXgjtpAb2S
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) April 16, 2018
Fox News just reported that Hannity was Michael Cohen's third client.
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) April 16, 2018
Tweet from April 11. No mention that Hannity was Cohen's client. https://t.co/pzWMcnsyhQ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 16, 2018
Shepard Smith just said on Fox News, "Hannity's producers are working to contact him," as word breaks that he's Michael Cohen's third, previously unnamed client pic.twitter.com/ieEvT16lQ7
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) April 16, 2018
Fox has serious questions to answer about why Hannity was allowed to rant on the Cohen raid without disclosing this. Did they not know?https://t.co/Ku3H3hdjGx
— andrew kaczynski? (@KFILE) April 16, 2018
BREAKING: Michael Cohen's previously unnamed third client is Sean Hannity.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 16, 2018
Protip: if possible avoid having a federal judge say this to you.https://t.co/nHwgjFLVHB
— TheNewNormalHat (@Popehat) April 16, 2018
ABA Model Rule 1.6(b)(6) on confidentiality of lawyer-client information indicates that a lawyer may reveal the identity of a client without the client's consent if it is "to comply with other law or court order." https://t.co/6ndwOWmg5c
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) April 16, 2018
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) April 16, 2018
Marvel: "Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event of all time"
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) April 16, 2018
Source familiar w/ Hannity/Cohen legal relationship tells @GloriaBorger:
"Michael Cohen has never represented Sean Hannity in any matter involving a third party. Hannity has occasionally asked Mr Cohen questions concerning the law that Mr Cohen indicated would be privileged"
— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) April 16, 2018
"oh, and by the way, he's my lawyer." https://t.co/x3RHmiKCfT
— Nick Hentoff (@Nick_Hentoff) April 16, 2018
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
Hannity blasted the FBI raid for more than 10 minutes the day it happened. Never once even indicated Cohen also represented him: "This is now officially an all hands on deck effort to totally malign, and, if possible, impeach the president of the United States." pic.twitter.com/na1Ap7CvYJ
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) April 16, 2018
— Media Matters (@mmfa) April 16, 2018
Newsflash everyone: Cohen is not the first lawyer that Trump and Hannity have shared. He's actually the second! Last year, Hannity ALSO hired Jay Sekulow who is on Trump's Russia legal team.
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) April 16, 2018
Hannity is saying that he's never paid Micheal Cohen or received an invoice from him
"I never retained him in the traditional sense as retaining a lawyer" but that he did seek advice from him or asked him legal questions
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) April 16, 2018
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) April 16, 2018
HANNITY says he has 8 different lawyers, but occasionally slipped Cohen a few dollars … "I definitely might have handed him 10 bucks: "'I want attorney-client privilege on this'."
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) April 16, 2018
Sean Hannity just explained on his radio show that his conversations with Michael Cohen were privileged because, "I might have handed [Cohen] 10 bucks and said, I definitely want privilege on that."
— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) April 16, 2018