Fox's Hannity revealed as mystery client of Trump's personal lawyer

Jimmy Kimmel, who recently had a public feud with Hannity following a skit on his Jimmy Kimmel Live! show which mocked First Lady Melania Trump's accent drew the ire of the Fox News host and many critics on social media, quickly jumped on the link between Cohen and Hannity.

"Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter". I never received an invoice.

Cohen's lawyers were required by a federal judge in NY to disclose the names of his clients Monday as part of an argument over attorney-client privilege and how it applies to records seized from Cohen last week by the FBI. That team, they said, could provide the documents to Trump and other Cohen clients for their own review.

Monday's hearing began with an appearance by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was swarmed by photographers and almost fell as she was hustled into the courthouse, a scene that captured the sensational atmosphere around the case.

On Monday, when it was finally announced that President Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, also represented Fox News host Sean Hannity, it was clear that the channel could soon be facing certain challenges if it chose to keep Hannity as a host.

The right-wing commentator, who became one of Trump's staunchest supporters in the media during the 2016 election, was named in court after a federal judge rejected attempts to keep Hannity's name secret.

Even before the surprise disclosure about Hannity, the afternoon hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood was a spectacle.

According to court filings, the public integrity section of the US attorney's office in NY has been investigating Cohen for months because of allegations that his private business dealings - including the secret hush-money payments - may have violated federal bank fraud or campaign-finance laws. The raid on Cohen's home and office sought information on a variety of matters, including a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had sex with a married Trump in 2006.

Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, arrives at federal court Monday in NY.

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One was, of course, Trump himself. Cohen has long described himself as an attorney for Trump but has for years filled a more wide-ranging role as a general troubleshooter.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, said Trump Organization materials had been seized in the raid.

Information for this article was contributed by Tom Hays, Larry Neumeister and David Bauder of The Associated Press; by Alan Feuer, Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin of The New York Times; and by Philip Bump, Devlin Barrett and Beth Reinhard of The Washington Post.

Last week's raids came after a "months-long" investigation of possible crimes related largely to Cohen's business dealings, rather than his work as a lawyer, prosecutors have said. They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen.

Daniels, wearing a pink skirt and black heels, stumbled and nearly fell on the wet sidewalk outside the courthouse among a throng of reporters and camera crews.

Trump's attorneys demanded in a letter to court on Sunday evening that the justice department's plan be halted so that "our firm and the president may review for privilege those seized documents that relate to him" - an extraordinary request from someone in Trump's position in this kind of case. Cohen only has two other clients, and all he does is pay off mistresses.

"The hearing is taking place in federal court in Manhattan". As such, it makes us wonder if his extensive and positive coverage of both the president and his attorney couldn't be seen as conflicting once you understand that he as a news personality has influence over the viewership.

Wood allowed prosecutors to proceed with the cataloguing of evidence, including multiple electronic devices, that was seized in raids while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege aren't disclosed to investigators. The government says it should do the vetting.

The revelation came as a judge is deciding whether to let federal prosecutors sift through materials the FBI seized from the Trump attorney's home.

  • Adam Floyd