Fox News host Sean Hannity tried to minimize his link to President Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen on Monday, saying he has a “right to privacy” and that the relationship was “minor” and “nothing political.”
“Predictably, without knowing all or frankly any of the facts, the media went completely insane,” Hannity said in the last few minutes of his program, echoing tweets from earlier Monday. “Let me set the record straight: Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal matter, I never retained his services. … They never involved any matter ― any matter ― between me, a third party, a third group at all. My questions almost exclusively focused on real estate.”
“In response to all the wild speculation, I want to set the record straight.”
Earlier in the hour, Fox News contributor Alan Dershowitz chastised Hannity for failing to mention his link to Cohen before any of his many segments in which he covered the FBI raid on the attorney’s office, hotel room and home last week.
“I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show,” Dershowitz said.
“I have a right to privacy,” the Fox News host retorted. “It was such a minor relationship and it had to do with real estate and nothing political.”
Hannity was revealed as one of Cohen’s clients in court on Monday as part of a federal investigation into Cohen’s business and financial dealings.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ordered Cohen’s attorney Steve Ryan to share Cohen’s client list after hearing that Cohen had worked for 10 clients since 2017. Cohen reportedly did “traditional legal tasks” for three clients ― Trump, former Republican National Committee official Elliott Brody and a third person who asked to remain anonymous.
“The client is a publicly prominent individual,” Ryan said, arguing that the then-unnamed person would be “embarrassed” to be identified, but another attorney representing media outlets said that was not enough cause to keep the identity private.
Wood then demanded that Ryan reveal the client’s name. Ryan identified Hannity as the third client to audible gasps in the courtroom, according to The New York Times.