Trump Lawyer Cohen Secretly Represented Conservative Talk Show Host Sean Hannity

(VOA): Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer who is under criminal investigation for his business dealings, has secretly provided legal advice to conservative talk show host and unabashed Trump supporter Sean Hannity.    The disclosure came Monday during a hearing in a federal court in New York where lawyers for Cohen and Trump asked a judge for permission to review documents and records FBI agents seized from Cohen’s office, home and hotel room last week as part of their investigation of Cohen’s finances. Cohen has been under investigation for months for “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings,” federal prosecutors disclosed in court on Friday.  The investigation is tied to hush money Cohen allegedly paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep them quiet about alleged sexual encounters with Trump. Cohen’s lawyers called the FBI raid "completely inappropriate and unnecessary” and said it resulted in the “seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients.”  In a court filing on Sunday, Trump’s lawyers called the operation "disquieting to lawyers, clients, citizens, and commentators alike" and requested that they be given the first chance to review the documents and decide what documents can be viewed by prosectors. But Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected the request, ruling that a “taint team” set up by prosecutors to filter out privileged documents is a “viable option,” while a “special master” – a court-appointed outside lawyer – may have “a role here.”  She asked prosecutors and defense lawyers for Cohen and Trump to propose names for a special master.    Prosecutors insisted that the bulk of the seized files was not subject to attorney client privilege, noting that search warrants executed on a number of email accounts held by Cohen showed that he "performed little to no legal work." But in a letter to Wood on Monday, lawyers for Cohen wrote that Cohen has had at least 10 clients in the past year, including seven that he provided "strategic advice and business consulting" to and three who received legal advice. Cohen's attorneys initially disclosed that Cohen represented Trump, GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy and a third client who wished to remain anonymous.  But Judge Wood ruled that the lawyers must disclose Hannity's name.   Hannity drew immediate fire for failing to disclose his relationship with Cohen while bashing the FBI raid on his radio and TV shows. But Hannity said he was not a client of Cohen's.   “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter,” Hannity tweeted after Cohen’s lawyers identified him as the third unnamed client. “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."

(This story has not been edited by N24 staff and is Voice Of America auto-generated from a RSS feed)

Published Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | 12:45 PM

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