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Sean Hannity responds after being named as Michael Cohen's mystery client

Sean Hannity responds after being named as Michael Cohen's mystery client

US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer was forced on Monday to reveal in a NY federal court that Fox News personality Sean Hannity, one of Trump's most ardent defenders, was also on his client list.

Last week, Cohen's attorneys asked to review the documents, or have a court-appointed special master do so, to determine what material is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. The warrant also sought information that included payments allegedly made to keep Daniels and McDougal silent.

Kimmel referred to Hannity as the "chief propaganda guy for Trump's legal team", and noted, "If this is the biggest witch hunt in history, the broomstick is getting pretty full".

Cohen is "radioactive", said Michael Avenatti, Clifford's lawyer.

Wood wouldn't accept that.

Judge Wood agreed with Balin's assessment: "I understand he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law", Wood said after listening to Balin. Neither Hannity nor Harrison spelled out what sort of discussions or legal work Cohen did for the conservative TV host. He bent over backwards to deny the relationship, claiming nothing more than a few harmless chit-chats over real estate.

Over on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah noted that it wasn't a "good look" for Hannity to be one of Cohen's clients. "And let me be very clear to the media: Michael never represented me in any matter, I never retained him in the traditional sense for retaining a lawyer, I never received an invoice from Michael, I never paid legal fees to Michael".

After explaining his relationship with Cohen, Hannity did what he does best: attacking the media. I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken.

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Hannity seemed eager Monday to dismiss what he said was "wild speculation" that the legal matters he discussed with Cohen might be similar to the kinds of deals involving Trump and Broidy. Wood pushed back against the claim, asking for information about his clients.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday cracked herself up as she was reporting on the Sean Hannity-Michael Cohen bombshell. Attorneys for Trump and Cohen opposed that plan. He is a great attorney, about legal questions I had. She asked each party to come up with four names of individuals to be considered for such a role.

She ordered prosecutors to give Cohen's lawyers a copy of the seized materials before the next hearing. The President's attorneys proposed reviewing the records themselves to decide what needed to be excluded.

The pursuit of Cohen by prosecutors in New York's southern district presents a second front of legal peril for Trump, who reacted furiously to the Federal Bureau of Investigation raids and claimed they were part of the same supposed "witch-hunt" led by Mueller that has blighted his presidency. But the third client Cohen had provided legal services to over the past year had remained a mystery until Monday's hearing when a judge forced him to reveal the person's identity.

But even if an attorney-client relationship between Cohen and Hannity did actually exist, it is the client, not the attorney, who controls the disclosure of communication.

"Following the raid of Mr. Cohen's office and residences, there has been a deluge of press", Cohen's lawyers wrote. The law firm was not named, but Cohen teamed up last spring with Squire Patton Boggs. But prosecutors want the documents to be reviewed for attorney-client privilege by a "taint team" of lawyers within their own office, who would be walled off from the main prosecution team.

Trump may have undermined his own argument for protecting the records when he told reporters that he wasn't aware of the $130,000 payment to the porn actress.

Cohen appears to have taken a different position than Trump on how the documents should be handled.

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