Sean Hannity unmasked as Trump lawyer's mystery client
18:13, Apr 17, 2018
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Hannity did not disclose to his audience that Cohen was also his attorney.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and her lawyer attended Monday's hearing, setting off a media frenzy outside the Manhattan courtroom. To restate a point I made earlier, does anyone believe that Hannity would have criticized the feds less, or not at all, for raiding Cohen's office if his own communications hadn't been caught up in the raid?
The last to enter court, she was among the first to leave. And Cohen's work for the other client on his shortlist, Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, included negotiating a $1.6 million settlement with a former Playboy model who got pregnant when she and Broidy had an affair.
Prosecutors have asked that the seized documents be reviewed for attorney-client privilege by a "filter team" of lawyers within their own office, who would be walled off from the main prosecution team. Stormy Daniels - the porn actress who alleged she had a sexual affair with the president - made an appearance, stumbling on her high heels as she was swarmed by press.
Lawyers for Michael Cohen argued in court on Monday that they could not identify Hannity because he asked that his name not be disclosed in connection with an Federal Bureau of Investigation seizure of Cohen's files.
Mr Wood ordered Mr Cohen's lawyers to be ready with a list of his clients to support their argument.
Showing clips from Hannity's show last week, in which the host addressed the raid of Cohen's office, Noah noted, "It looks less like a news show and more like a guy who's really stressed giving himself a pep talk".
Responding to the revelation, Hannity on Monday called his dealings with Cohen a "minor relationship" and said he had asked questions that "focused nearly exclusively on real estate". "Did he not tell them, or did he tell them and they just ignored it?"
"I understand if he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law", Wood said, before ordering a lawyer for Cohen to disclose the name.
"I never paid Michael Cohen for legal fees", Hannity said in response Monday evening.
"I have faith in the Southern District U.S. attorney's office that their integrity is unimpeachable", the judge said, though she added that naming a special master could also work.
"Depending on what is contained within those documents, I think there is significant danger to the president", her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told reporters after the hearing. The payment, to be made in installments over two years, was meant to keep her silent about their relationship.
To the host, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is after Cohen not because he was part of a scheme to quiet Daniels.
Prosecutors say that material should be reviewed by a team of Justice Department lawyers independent from the investigation who could identify records that should remain confidential.
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.
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