As adult-film actress Stormy Daniels looked on, a federal judge ordered U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to cough up the name of client he had hoped to keep secret at a Monday court hearing: Sean Hannity.
While porn star Stormy Daniels triggered a media stampede on Monday, her appearance in federal court ultimately overshadowed by a bombshell disclosure from President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who was forced to reveal that Fox News host Sean Hannity was one of his clients.
The judge overruling Cohen’s attempt to withhold the identity of his client, who has been one of the president’s biggest on screen supporters.
Hannity responding with a tweet, saying: “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.”
Hannity is one of only three known legal clients of Cohen’s, including the president and Trump ally Elliott Broidy, for whom Cohen arranged a $1.6 million payment to a Playboy Playmate to keep her sexual relationship with Broidy a secret.
Cohen’s New York offices and home were raided by the FBI last week.
A source told Reuters that the investigators were seeking information about a $130,000 payment made by Cohen just before the 2016 election to Daniels, who has said she had sex with Trump while he was married. Trump has said he did not know about the payment.
Lawyers for Cohen and President Trump demanded that the court block prosecutors from reviewing the records seized in the FBI raid, arguing some materials may be protected by attorney-client privilege.
But the judge on Monday rejected that request, and said she would consider appointing a special master to assist prosecutors when – or if – they review the documents.