Cohen, who is under criminal investigation for his business dealings, had said in a court filing that he did legal work in the past year for Trump, GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy and a “third client” who remained unnamed until Monday afternoon, when he was identified in court as Hannity.
“In today’s proceedings that are underway right now, Stephen Ryan, one of Cohen’s attorneys, was asked by the judge to specifically name the other name because they said it would not fall under attorney-client privilege to withhold that name. And he stood up and named him as Sean Hannity,” Fox News correspondent Laura Ingle said on air just after 3 p.m. Monday. “So moving on to the rest of what’s happening today, there has been a good deal of back-and-forth filings over this issue since last night.”
Fox News quickly pivoted away from coverage of the Cohen hearing and aired stories about Syria and Barbara Bush’s illness. CNN and MSNBC continued to cover the Hannity revelation.
Hannity responded to the news on Twitter shortly thereafter, denying that Cohen ever represented him and describing their contact as “brief discussions about legal questions.”
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.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 16, 2018
“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,” he tweeted. “I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”