UPDATE 9-Fox's Hannity revealed as mystery client of Trump's personal lawyer

From Reuters - April 16, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trumps personal lawyer was forced on Monday to reveal in a New York federal court that Fox News personality Sean Hannity, one of Trumps most ardent defenders, was also on his client list.

Michael Cohen, Trumps fiercely loyal and pugnacious lawyer, disclosed Hannitys name through one of his own lawyers at the order of the judge. Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who says she had a sexual encounter with Trump, watched from the public gallery.

Daniels, in a separate civil case, is fighting a 2016 non-disclosure agreement arranged by Cohen in which she got $130,000 to stop her from discussing her claim she had sex with Trump a decade earlier, something Trump has denied.

Hannity, 56, said on Monday that he had never paid for Cohens services or been represented by him, but had sought confidential legal advice from him. The conservative host often uses his weeknight broadcast on Fox News to defend the president against what he sees as biased attacks by the media. Sometimes Trump praises Hannity in return.

Cohen was in court to ask the judge to limit the ability of federal prosecutors to review documents seized from his offices and home last week as part of a criminal investigation, which stems in part from a probe into possible collusion between Trumps presidential campaign and Russia.

The Russia investigation has frustrated the White House as it has spread to enfold some of Trumps closest confidantes.

Judge Kimba Wood spent more than 2-1/2 hours listening to arguments by Cohens lawyers, prosecutors from the U.S. attorneys office in Manhattan and a lawyer representing Trump in the hearing. She is expected to rule later.

She ordered prosecutors to give Cohens lawyers a copy of the seized materials before the next hearing.

The unexpected naming of Hannity made him the latest prominent media personality to be drawn into the investigations cast of unlikely supporting characters.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was another. As she arrived at the courthouse dressed in a lavender suit, photographers knocked over barricades as they scrambled to get pictures.

Daniels sat with her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who told reporters they were there to help ensure protection for the integrity of the seized documents, some of which they believe pertain to the Daniels agreement.

Cohen, dressed in a dark suit, at times looked tense, folding and clasping his hands in front of him.


Cohen has argued that some of the documents and data seized from him under a warrant are protected by attorney-client privilege or otherwise unconnected to the investigation. But Judge Wood said she would still need the names of those other clients, and rejected his efforts to mask the identity of Hannity, a client Cohen had said wanted to avoid publicity.

I understand if he doesnt want his name out there, but thats not enough under the law, Wood said, before ordering the name disclosed.


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