President Donald Trump's personal attorney has been forced to reveal that one of his clients is Fox News host Sean Hannity, CBS News' Jeff Pegues confirmed Monday. As Hannity's radio show began at 3 p.m., the host was nowhere to be heard.
Federal judge Kimba Wood ordered an attorney for Cohen to reveal the identity of a client that Cohen's team had withheld in earlier court documents as part of a dispute over evidence seized by the FBI from Cohen's home and office earlier this month.
"I never paid legal fees to Michael", but Hannity said he did have legal conversations with Cohen about which he asked for his "perspective". He assumed those discussions were covered by attorney-client privilege, he said, and emphasized that they were never about matters involving "any third party".
Further adding to the drama, Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film actor known as Stormy Daniels who alleges that she had a sexual encounter with Trump and was paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep quiet, intends to attend Monday's hearing, according to her lawyer.
Prosecutors suggested in their filing that while Cohen "holds himself out as a practicing attorney", he is actually exaggerating the extent of his work in an attempt to cast a wide net of attorney-client privilege over the records seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"We just spoke with his publicist here at Fox News who says that he says they have been friends a long time, he never denied that he was his lawyer, that he did some legal work for him along the way, and that's the extent of that", Smith said. McKay stressed that the team of government lawyers who would review the seized material would be "walled off" from their colleagues, like himself, who are pursuing the criminal inquiry against Cohen.
Prosecutors with the USA attorney's office in Manhattan said they have a "filter team" of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients.
Late Sunday, lawyers for Trump asked for copies of the seized material to be turned over so the President could review them for confidential information.
Cohen acknowledged that seven of the 10 clients he had in 2017 to 2018 involved business consulting over legal advice.
Cohen also represented Elliott Broidy in his $1.6 million payoff of a former Playboy model who says the prominent GOP donor got her pregnant.
The judge said she could not decide about how seriously to treat Cohen's and Trump's claims about attorney-client privilege unless she knew what clients Cohen has been representing.
Broidy admitted to the relationship in a statement but did not address whether he impregnated the woman.