Michael Cohen, the lawyer who paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her from discussing an alleged affair with Donald Trump, was forced to reveal in court that he has also done legal work for Fox News host Sean Hannity. Daniels also appeared at the federal courthouse in New York City on Monday, where a throng of media was waiting, creating a circus atmosphere. Daniels nearly tripped as she rushed into the courthouse, flanked by photographers.
According to The Associated Press, attorneys for both Cohen and Trump were attempting to convince a federal judge that records seized by the F.B.I. should not yet be examined by prosecutors due to the confidentiality that should exist between Cohen and his clients. Though Cohen was reluctant to reveal the name of the clients he has worked with since the 2016 election, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ordered him to do so.
It is not clear what kind of work Cohen did for Hannity, who said on his radio show that the lawyer did not represent him in matters involving a third party.
“Michael never represented me in any matter,” Hannity, a fierce supporter of Donald Trump, said. “I never retained him in any traditional sense. I never received an invoice. I never paid a legal fee. I had brief discussions with him about legal questions where I wanted his input and perspective.”
Hannity, who has publicly attacked the Cohen raid, never disclosed his connection to the lawyer.
Earlier this month, the F.B.I. raided Cohen’s offices, hoping to uncover information about a number of topics, including his payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Investigators are trying to determine whether the payment broke election campaign finance laws.
In court, lawyers for Trump and Cohen argued that they should be able to review the files before the documents are presented to a panel of prosecutors unconnected to the investigation.
Judge Wood rejected their request, The Guardian reports. Though legal documents are typically subject to attorney-client privilege, that privilege is revoked if the documents contain evidence of unlawful behavior on the part of the attorney.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.