The Plot Sickens: Sean Hannity is Revealed to Be Michael Cohen’s Secret Third Client

It is getting ridiculous how much the phrase “You just can’t make this up,” is applicable to Donald Trump’s administration. But the news on Monday morning definitely applies. As Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen headed back to court for a hearing to suppress materials seized during the raid on his office and home, the surprise was supposed to be the presence of Stormy Daniels. That’s not how it worked out.

Sean Hannity Fox News

Prior to this hearing Cohen was ordered by the judge to disclose the three clients that he claimed to be representing. There was some dispute as to whether Cohen was actually doing any legal work. So Cohen supplied the names of Donald Trump and Elliot Broidy. Broidy just resigned from his post at the Republican National Committee after it was disclosed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate to hide his affair. Cohen facilitated that payoff.

However, Cohen’s lawyers declined to reveal the name of the third client. Until now. And it turned out to be Fox News host Sean Hannity. According to reports:

In their letter to Wood, Cohen’s lawyers said he had given legal advice or handled dispute resolution for three clients since 2017: Trump, venture capitalist Eliot Broidy and another person.

Broidy on Friday resigned from his post as deputy finance chair at the Republican National Committee after it was revealed that Cohen had helped arrange Broidy’s $1.6 million payment to a Playboy model in exchange for her silence about their affair and her pregnancy, which was aborted.

“The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen to not to reveal their identity publicly,” Cohen’s lawyers wrote to Wood.

The lawyers added, “As to the one unnamed legal client, we do not believe that Mr. Cohen should be asked to reveal the name or can permissibly do so.”

Cohen’s lawyers argued that identifying the third client was “likely to be embarrassing or detrimental to the client.” No kidding. At this time it is not known what matters Cohen was representing Hannity on. But the fact that he served as the conduit for payments to mistresses for his other two clients is more than a little suspicious.

Hannity has been the most fiercely loyal Trump-fluffer on Fox News. But he has also taken positions defending Cohen since the U.S. Attorney in New York raided his offices. For instance:

The fact that Hannity and Trump share a lawyer cuts deeply into his ability to continue reporting on the President. There has to be a complete accounting of the relationships and any legal crossover. And it has to go more in depth than it’s just the “Deep State” attacking him and Trump.

Now there will have to be some response from Fox News. Is it possible for Hannity to continue doing commentaries about Cohen and Trump considering the obvious conflict of interest and overt bias that these relationships represent? Can Fox even keep him on the air? At the very least the network has to get a more complete disclosure from Hannity in order to discern if he has been violating any network codes of conduct. Of course, it is Fox News so they may decide to do nothing simply because their ethics are no better than Hannity’s.

UPDATE: Hannity is saying that he has asked Cohen for legal advice, but he was never his client and was never billed. In effect he’s calling Cohen a liar because Cohen told the court that Hannity is his “client.”

And Hannity has actually interviewed Cohen on his show (here and here) without disclosing that he was interviewing his own lawyer.

And Hannity has been in litigation with a woman who asserts sexual misconduct.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Told Fox News that the U.S. is Just as Bad as Russia and Tried to Make Comey Agree

The ABC interview of James Comey Sunday night had some juicy quotables. The interview precedes the release of his book, A Higher Loyalty, which is currently number one on Amazon. Comey’s opinion that Donald Trump is “morally unfit to be president” seems to be getting the most play in the morning-after media. But Comey also introduced several “possibilities” that are hard to ignore. He said that it’s possible that Trump is “compromised by the Russians.” He said that there is possible evidence of Trump obstructing justice. And he said that it is possible that Trump “was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow.”

Comey Trump

All of those are harrowing thoughts when applied to the President of the United States. And particularly so when they come from one of the highest law enforcement officials in the American federal government. The harmful prospects implied by those remarks cannot be overstated. And they will surely play a part in the unfolding investigation being conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

In addition, there was a surprising allusion to Trump’s favorite cable news network, Fox News. It reveals the extent to which he is preoccupied with everything he sees and hears from his shadow policy advisors on the network, who too often become his actual White House advisors. The exchange occurred when George Stephanopoulos asked Trump about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, a unambiguously brutal dictator who Trump has never been able to say a single bad word about. This is what ensued (transcript here, video below):

“The Super Bowl pre-game show where– and I hadn’t asked any questions about this, but the president was just talking about it, he had given an answer to Bill O’Reilly that had been much criticized across the political spectrum when he had said, in response to a question, that he respected Vladimir Putin and said, ‘That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.’

“And then O’Reilly responded, ‘But he’s a killer.” And the president responded, in substance, “But we’re killers, too. You think our country’s so innocent.’ I forget the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. And that moral equivalence, between the people of our government and Putin’s thugs, had generated a lot of controversy. […]

“He was telling me it was a good answer and then said – gave me an opening by saying, ‘You think it was a great answer. You think it was a good answer.’ And then he was starting to move on. And I jumped in and I said, ‘Mr. President, the first part of the answer was fine, not the second part. We’re not the kind of killers that Putin is.’

And when I said that, the weather changed in the room. And like a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look. And I thought in that moment, ‘I’ve just done something unusual maybe.’ And then (SNAP) it passed and the meeting was over. And, ‘Thanks for coming in,’ and – and Priebus walked me out.”

Comey regarded that exchange as having an unintended positive result. He said that “by interrupting him and also criticizing him to his face,” it ended any personal relationship between him and Trump. It allowed him to “keep a distance that we need to keep from him.” But it also showed that Trump has an unhealthy obsession with whatever he says on Fox News being validated by everyone with whom he comes into contact. Trump desperately wanted Comey to agree that what he told O’Reilly was brilliant.

Of course, what he told O’Reilly was an insult to America and blatantly unpatriotic. Even O’Reilly thought so. Putin is guilty of murdering his political opponents and critical journalists. He is a cold-blooded tyrant who thirsts for world domination. Whatever flaws the U.S. has, they are not on that level of evil. But Comey’s refusal to suck up to Trump caused the President to freeze up. And it may have been at that moment that he decided that Comey had to go.

The cumulative effect of the Russia investigation and Comey’s lack of adoring fealty to Trump sealed his fate. So ironically, Fox News, the PR division of the Trump White House, may have inadvertently played a role in proving that Trump obstructed justice. Who’da thunk it?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.