clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Sean Hannity was Michael Cohen’s mystery client

Cohen had tried to protect Hannity’s name in court.

Sean Hannity on April 12, 2018, in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

A federal judge forced President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to reveal the identity of a secret client. It’s Fox News host and Trump ally Sean Hannity.

Cohen was trying to protect Hannity’s name as part of a lawsuit he filed to prevent the FBI from searching through the documents agents took on April 9 during a raid on Cohen’s office and hotel room.

On Friday, federal Judge Kimba Wood, who is presiding over Cohen’s lawsuit, told Cohen’s lawyers that she wanted a list of Cohen’s clients to make a decision on whether to stop the FBI from reviewing the seized materials.

In a Monday morning court filing, Cohen’s lawyers revealed two of the three clients that Cohen had between 2017 and 2018 but refused to name the third.

On Monday afternoon, during a hearing, Wood rejected the plea from Cohen’s team and demanded to be told who the third client was.

“I understand that he doesn’t want his name out there, but that’s not enough under the law,” Wood said.

After a back-and-forth in which Cohen’s lawyers offered to tell the judge confidentially, they gave in and announced the unnamed client was Hannity.

Hannity confirmed the news after Cohen’s team announced his name.

“I have sought legal advice from Michael,” he said in a statement.

The news broke while Hannity was broadcasting his live radio program on Monday afternoon. Hannity referenced the Cohen hearing but didn’t directly address it.

“I think it’s pretty funny,” he said. “I’ll decide if I’m going to put out a statement here.”

The other two clients to whom Cohen provided legal advice since Trump took office are Trump and Elliott Broidy, according to Monday morning’s court filing.

Wood had yet to rule on whether the FBI would be allowed to go through the documents when she demanded Hannity’s name.

Update: After this piece was published a spokesperson for Fox News contacted me and asked for Vox to publish a full statement from Sean Hannity, which is included below.

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