clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sean Hannity spent last week ranting about the Cohen raid. He didn’t mention he’s Cohen’s client.

Hannity described the Cohen raid as “an all-hands-on-deck effort to totally malign and, if possible, impeach the president of the United States.”

Pundit Sean Hannity attends the Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 at the Pool on April 13, 2017, in New York City.
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Fox News personality Sean Hannity stood with team Michael Cohen since last week when the FBI raided Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room, calling the Justice Department’s investigation a “witch hunt.” It turns out Hannity’s been on team Cohen for a lot longer.

Hannity was a client of Cohen’s, a revelation that came out in a court proceeding on Monday. In all Hannity’s ranting about the unfair treatment of Cohen, Hannity never mentioned Cohen had provided him legal guidance.

Hannity tried to couch the revelation, saying he never paid Cohen, other than “10 bucks” to establish attorney-client privilege. He was vague about what Cohen actually did for him.

“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,” he tweeted.

He went on: “I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.

District Court Judge Kimba Wood ordered Cohen, who is currently the subject of a major FBI investigation, to disclose that Hannity was one of his three clients last year.

Cohen’s other clients were Donald Trump and major RNC fundraiser Elliott Broidy; Cohen negotiated a payment to a Playboy model in exchange for her keeping quiet about an alleged sexual relationship with Broidy. Broidy and Hannity’s names emerged after Judge Wood asked for a list of Cohen’s clients to make a decision on whether to block the FBI from reviewing materials seized during the raid following a lawsuit Cohen filed.

Hannity talked a lot about Michael Cohen — but never mentioned he was a client

According to Fox News transcripts, Hannity has spent the past week ranting about the search of Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room.

On April 9, the day of the raid, Hannity said that the FBI’s act “means ... Mueller’s witch-hunt investigation is now a runaway train that is clearly careening off the tracks.”

He added:

Keep in mind. Cohen was never part of the Trump administration or the Trump campaign. This is now officially an all-hands-on-deck effort to totally malign and, if possible, impeach the president of the United States. Mueller and [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein have declared what is a legal war on the president.

On April 10, Hannity said after news broke that the FBI was looking for information on payments made by Cohen to two women allegedly on behalf of Donald Trump:

Does anyone believe that a porn star and a former Playboy playmate, that they are going to shed any light on potential collusion with Russia? The answer is of course not. Robert Mueller has officially gone rogue and declared war against the president.

On April 11, Hannity described the raid as evidence of “the fishing expedition that Mueller is now engaged in” on his daily radio show.

During that episode of Hannity, a guest commentator, Joseph diGenova, said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “now has an obligation to the president of the United States to fire Rod Rosenstein after Rosenstein authorized the unconstitutional and unprofessional search of the office of Michael Cohen in New York. It’s Mr. Sessions’s job, and he has a duty to fire Rod Rosenstein.”

But despite reporting on, opining on, and speaking with Michael Cohen on his popular show, Hannity has never revealed that he was a legal client of Cohen’s.

And in a statement released Monday afternoon, Hannity denied that Cohen was his attorney, saying that he had only had “brief discussions with him about legal questions.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.