President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was ordered Monday to disclose the identity of a mysterious client whom he had tried to keep secret - and it's none other than Fox News personality Sean Hannity.
Cohen has argued that both he and Trump's legal team should have access to the material before prosecutors in order to protect any information that falls under attorney-client privilege that exists within the documents. On his radio show Monday afternoon, he said he has "eight" different lawyers, and that he never paid Cohen any legal fees.
Cohen's lawyer can then share subsets of the material to Trump and the Trump Organization.
"Of the three legal clients, Donald J. Trump and Elliot Broidy have allowed us to reveal the fact that they are legal clients", Harrison and Ryan wrote.
Hannity, who started broadcasting his radio show just after the news broke, said he had known Cohen for a long time.
Wood, though, demanded the name.
But even according to Hannity's account, he was taking free legal advice from someone on the president's payroll.
Federal Judge Kimba Wood said she understood that Hannity "did not want his name out there" but "that's not enough under the law". "I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party". I never retained him in any sense.
During his Monday show, Hannity, who said he utilizes eight separate attorneys, said the media was going "nuts" about the story because they think Cohen was involved in "a big settlement case for Hannity".
Also in the Manhattan federal court was Ms Daniels, whose appearance triggered a scrum from photographers outside.
The letter says that from 1996 to 2006, Cohen had hundreds of clients, adding that he did not know if any material from those old clients were in the seized files. Former star anchor Bill O'Reilly, for example, also shared a lawyer with Trump, Marc E. Kasowitz. Another option is to set up a "special master" who will vet the material to determine what is protected and what isn't; that is the Cohen team's second choice.
Last week, prosecutors said in a court filing that they have been investigating Cohen for months "for criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings".
At stake is an investigation that could get at the heart of Trump's longtime fixer and image protector.
At one point, the judge made clear that for Cohen's claim to proceed, he would have to reveal the names of all the clients he has worked with since the 2016 election. They called the search "completely unprecedented".
"You know, this is a fast-moving story, so I am going to be doing a lot more reporting but what I have heard so far is that at some point past year Sean Hannity hired Michael Cohen to help defend him against left-wing groups that were calling for boycotts in the wake of Bill O'Reilly's ouster from Fox News", Sherman told host Ali Velshi.
"I'm asking for the president to have the opportunity to protect his sacred privilege", Hendon told the court.
But there is an even bigger hole in Hannity's explanation: Why, as he railed against Federal Bureau of Investigation raids of Cohen's office, home and hotel room last week, did Hannity not disclose to viewers and listeners that his communications with Cohen could have been among the materials seized? He has denied wrongdoing.
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