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.
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.”
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty ImagesMichael 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.”
NicholasKamm/AFP via Getty Images FILEFox 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.”