New York, April 17 (IANS) Fox News host Sean Hannity, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, was named as the third “mystery” client of Michael Cohen, the US President’s longtime personal lawyer, the media reported.
It was revealed in a Lower Manhattan courthouse on Monday that Cohen’s first client was Trump, the second was Republican fund-raiser Elliott Broidy, who admitted to paying a former Playboy model after she became pregnant during their affair, and the third was revealed as Hannity.
Hannity has gone from giving advice on messaging and strategy to Trump and his advisers during the 2016 campaign to dining with him at the White House and Mar-a-Lago, reports The New York Times.
His show “Hannity” is the most-watched cable news programme, averaging 3.2 million viewers in the first quarter of 2018, up from 1.8 million in the early months of 2016.
Monday’s disclosure occurred during the hearing on the expanding criminal investigation into Cohen’s affairs.
Federal investigators raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room on the morning of April 9.
In a legal filing before the hearing on Monday, Cohen said that, since 2017, he had worked as a lawyer for 10 clients, seven of whom he served by providing “strategic advice and business consulting”.
The other three were Trump, Broidy and a third person who went unnamed.
The mystery was solved when Kimba M. Wood, a judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered that Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, disclose the name of the client in question, who turned out to be Hannity, The New York Times reported.
However, Hannity has denied that he was a client of Cohen’s, saying that he had never paid him for his services and that his discussions with him were brief and centred on real estate.
“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,” The Fox News host tweeted on Monday evening.
“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”