Michael Cohen's mystery 3rd client revealed to be Fox News host Sean Hannity

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The previously unnamed third client of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen was revealed in court Monday to be Fox News host Sean Hannity.

The federal judge was considering what to do with records and electronic devices that the FBI seized last week in raids at Michael Cohen's office and home.

In a court filing Monday, Cohen's attorneys said three people received legal help from Cohen in 2017 and 2018, after Trump became president. One was Trump himself, while the second was Elliot Broidy, a Trump fundraiser who resigned from the Republican National Committee on Friday after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair. The Playmate became pregnant and elected to have an abortion.

They initially declined to reveal the name of the third client, but Judge Kimba Wood forced Cohen's legal team to reveal the name in open court, saying "I understand he doesn't want his name out there. That's not enough under the law."

Cohen's lawyers argued in court that they could not identify Hannity because he asked that his name not be disclosed in connection with an FBI seizure of Cohen's files, at one point offering to write his name down and put it in an envelope rather than say it out loud.

"It almost goes without saying, unfortunately, that none of Mr. Cohen's clients want to be associated with the government raid on his home and law office, or want to be affiliated in any way with the proceedings here and the attendant media coverage," Cohen's lawyers, Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan, wrote. Wood, though, demanded the name.

Hannity issue the following statement: "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. I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear, they never involved any matter between me and a third party."

On his radio show, Hannity denied that Cohen was his attorney, saying he only sought advice on legal matters and had attorney client privilege when they discussed personnel matters.

"We definitely had attorney-client privilege because I asked him for that, but he never sent me a bill or an invoice," he said.

He reiterated that he was never was represented by Cohen and never had any cases with him that involved a third party.
"I know Michael a long, long, time, and let me be very clear to the media," he said. "Michael never represented me in any matter. I never retained him in the traditional sense, as retaining a lawyer."

Later he added on Twitter the legal advice he got from Cohen was "almost exclusively about real estate."

Hannity addressed the controversy twice during his television show Monday night, brushing off criticism from lawyer Alan Dershowitz who told him, "you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on the show."

Hannity replied that the relationship was minimal and that he had a right to privacy. "It had to do with real estate and nothing political," Hannity told Dershowitz.

He gave a lengthier explanation at the end of his show, saying Cohen "never represented me in any legal matter." He called Cohen a great attorney, but said none of their discussions ever included a third party and were centered on real estate.

The raid on Cohen's home and office sought information on a variety of matters, including a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had sex with a married Trump in 2006. Hannity said his relationship with Cohen was nothing like that.

"Never received an invoice, never paid any fees, might have handed him $10, 'I definitely want attorney-client privilege on this.' Something like that," he said. "I requested that privilege with him when I asked him, 'Well this just came up, what do you think about this?' or 'What do you think about that?' He assumed, and he kept his word, that they were confidential in attorney-client."

Stormy Daniels was in the courtroom on Monday for the arguments, after which the federal judge rejected a request from President Donald Trump and Cohen's team for a temporary restraining order that would have kept federal prosecutors from reading files seized last week.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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