Sean Hannity disputes Michael Cohen claim he was a client


You'd be forgiven if the revelation that Fox News host Sean Hannity was Trump attorney Michael Cohen's mystery third client made you briefly forget that porn star Stormy Daniels attended today's federal court hearing on the records seized during last week's FBI raid.

Hannity, an outspoken Trump supporter who has repeatedly slammed the FBI's raid on Cohen's office, hotel and computers, first responded on Twitter, saying Cohen had "never represented me in any matter", but the two had "occasionally brief discussions" on unidentified legal issues.

Hannity said on Monday that he had never paid for Cohen's services or been represented by him, but had sought confidential legal advice from him. He assumed those discussions were covered by attorney-client privilege, he said, and emphasized that they were never about matters involving "any third party".

That's when Judge Kimba Wood - yes, that Kimba Wood - ruled that attorney-client privilege did not prohibit Cohen from revealing the identity of his third client.

Prosecutors are arguing that the documents and electronics seized from Cohen's office and home should not be protected by attorney-client privilege.

Cohen had his home, office and hotel room raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week, with authorities reportedly seeking records into payments Cohen facilitated to women in exchange for their silence.

But, for at least those three other clients, during 2017-2018, Cohen was performing "more traditional legal tasks", the letter said.

Prosecutor Thomas McKay told the judge during a sidebar session on Friday, "This is a fast-moving investigation".

Prosecutors with the USA attorney's office in Manhattan said they have a "filter team" of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients. He also listed in broad terms his legal work in the dozen years before he began working for the Trump Organization in 2007. Separately, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has also said she had an affair with Trump, received $150,000 from the parent company of the National Enquirer.

Broidy admitted to the relationship in a statement but did not address whether he impregnated the woman.

"In today's proceedings that are underway right now, Stephen Ryan, one of Cohen's attorneys, was asked by the judge to specifically name the other name because they said it would not fall under attorney-client privilege to withhold that name".