Fox News host Sean Hannity was the target of Tuesday's blistering cover of the New York Daily News. The brash headline was in response to Monday's revelation that Hannity is the mysterious "third client" of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney currently under criminal investigation for possible bank fraud and alleged campaign finance violations.
"OH, FOR FOX SAKE" the cover reads. The revelation of Hannity's attorney-client relationship sent shock waves through the media on Monday.
He called Hannity! https://t.co/oU7H3Zh2RC PLUS: @PulitzerPrizes honor 'Humble' Kendrick https://t.co/ujGKlN37L1… https://t.co/dtr5bZjXDz— New York Daily News (@New York Daily News) 1523925175.0
In Manhattan federal courtroom on Monday, Judge Kimba Wood ordered Cohen's attorney to release the name of an as-yet unnamed third client in the ongoing criminal investigation into Cohen's legal practice. Last Monday, FBI agents raided the home, office, and hotel room of Cohen, seizing documents and recordings that indicate Cohen represented Trump, former Deputy Republican National Committee Fiance Chair Elliott Broidy, and an unnamed third client.
Judge Wood opined that the mystery client's desire to not have their name publicly known was not legal grounds for withholding it from the public. It was then Cohen's lawyer admitted that his third client was Sean Hannity. Witnesses in the courtroom were reported to have gasped, and many were seen holding back laughter at the ridiculousness of the revelation.
Hannity has denied having any professional relationship with Cohen, claiming that he merely sought occasional legal advice from Cohen on a casual basis.
"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."
Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fee… https://t.co/eSTQNqyvJT— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity) 1523908691.0
But despite denying the existence of an attorney-client relationship, Hannity also said that any conversations he had with Cohen should be subject to attorney-client privilege, even though he claimed Cohen was never retained as his personal counsel. It's a head-scratching assertion, to say the least. To be clear, there is absolutely no legal standing for Hannity to claim privilege over conversations he had with someone whom he claims was not his attorney.
"I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party."
I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity) 1523908701.0
Following the admission that Cohen did indeed act as Hannity's personal lawyer, the Fox News host doubled-down on his denial of the professional relationship.
"In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf, I have no personal interest in this proceeding, and, in fact, asked that my de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen."
In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding o… https://t.co/j0aKtAJvPC— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity) 1523910837.0
His credibility all but shattered, Hannity has received the unyielding support of Fox News. In a statement released on Tuesday, the network said that although the relationship between Hannity and Cohen was not known, they are standing by their man. This is some serious spin.
"While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity's informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support."
FOX NEWS statement on Hannity: "While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity's informal relationship with Michael Coh… https://t.co/hAhI3Ebpl4— David Folkenflik (@David Folkenflik) 1523989295.0
On Thursday evening, Hannity thanked his "irredeemable deplorable friends" fans for their ongoing support.
I just want to say thank you to all my irredeemable deplorable friends on twitter and elsewhere. The support you sh… https://t.co/beQxivgSNn— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity) 1524000458.0
Last Friday, the publication shredded Trump in response to fired FBI Director James Comey's new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, in which Comey describes the first time he informed then President-Elect Trump about potential video recordings of Trump hiring Russian prostitutes to pee on each other in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
Urine trouble now, @realdonaldtrump https://t.co/SHnADUCeRf An early peek at Friday's front... https://t.co/mRgKGv1fBK— New York Daily News (@New York Daily News) 1523577190.0