UPDATED with Sean Hannity tweets, 1:07 PM: A federal judge today ordered Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to identify his third client — alongside the president and Elliott Broidy — and the name is one familiar to cable news watchers: Sean Hannity. The Fox News Channel host had wanted to remain anonymous.
Hannity, who is one of Trump’s most fervent backers and defenders and has been hammering Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation for weeks, tweeted this just before 1 PM PT:
After word of Hannity’s involvement broke, Shepard Smith said on his Fox News show: “For us, the elephant in the room is that Sean Hannity is said to have been a third client of Michael Cohen. Hannity’s producers are working to contact him.” He added, “We’ll report on it when we know the rest of it.” Smith and FNC then went back to James Comey coverage.
Hannity had called out Smith last month, saying the Shepard Smith Reporting host is “clueless” about what his nightly FNC show Hannity does, putting some barbed wire atop the much-proclaimed wall between opinion and reporting at Fox News. Hannity’s nightly FNC show airs at 6PM PT.
The FBI last week conducted a no-knock raid on Cohen’s office, apartment and hotel room, seizing documents, emails and more, including records of payment to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed source.
Cohen’s legal team has been trying to seal evidence taken in the raids. At today’s hearing, Judge Kimba Wood challenged them to cite the legal reasons for refusing to name Hannity as Cohen’s third client. Former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman Broidy’s name surfaced earlier in the hearing as a second client of Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney who also is embroiled in the Stormy Daniels payoff scandal.
Broidy resigned his RNC post last week after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a former Playboy model with whom he had a relationship that resulted in an abortion. Cohen arranged that deal late last year. Broidy is a major GOP donor with close ties to the White House.
Here is CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz talking about today’s revelation: