Sean Hannity quickly became the target of the mainstream media after it was revealed the Fox News host had met with Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Hannity, an ally and fierce defender of President Trump, has been an outspoken critic of Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe and blasted the raid on Cohen’s office and home. Monday night, Hannity began his show by addressing the media frenzy for not disclosing his relationship with the embattled lawyer.
“This is with the media in this country does,” he said hours after the news broke on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity”.
“Let me set the record straight. Here’s the truth. Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal matter. I never retained his services. I never received an invoice.”
Hannity was named by Cohen when he was forced to disclose a third “mystery” client after the raid. Hannity says it was strictly a causal relationship and that he never hired Cohen for any services.
“I never paid Michael Cohen for legal fees. I did have occasional brief conversations with Michael Cohen, he’s a great attorney, about legal questions I had, where I was looking for input and perspective,” he said.
“My discussions with Michael Cohen never rose to any level that I needed to tell anyone that I was asking him questions. And to be absolutely clear, they never involved any matter, any — sorry to disappoint so many — matter between me, a third-party, a third group at all.”
He finally concluded by saying that most of his discussions with Cohen revolved around real estate advice.
“I said many times on my radio show, I hate the stock market, I prefer real estate. Michael knows real estate. So, in response to all the wild speculation, I want to set the record straight here tonight. I never asked Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf. I have no personal interest in this legal matter.”
In an earlier segment Hannity explained to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The liberal (in the classic sense) constitutional scholar has made waves in the past for going against his own Democrat Party to defend President Trump and railed against the against the Cohen raid. But, Dershowitz wasn’t going to let Hannity off the hook so easily for this one.
“First of all, Sean, I want to say that I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show,” Dershowitz said, taking the Fox host off guard. “You could have said that you had asked him for advice or whatever. But I think it would have been much, much better had you disclosed that relationship.”
Hannity immediately pushed back, repeating what he said earlier that his relationship with Cohen was “minimal” and mostly about real estate.
“I have the right to privacy,” Hannity argued.
Dershowitz conceded that Hannity was in tough place given his media position and relationship with the president, but still maintained that Hannity would have been better off if he had given full disclosure.
“It’s a complex situation when you are speaking to millions of people,” Dershowitz said.
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