Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton believes the Deep State is targeting Sean Hannity with illegal leaks about his real estate investments.
The head of the conservative watchdog group commented on his personal Twitter account Sunday about an article in The Guardian reporting on some of Hannity’s private real estate investment loans being guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Deep State targets @SeanHannity, @RealDonaldTrump supporter, with illegal leaks out of HUD. Is it a coincidence this story appears a few weeks after raid on Cohen?” Fitton wrote in response to The Guardian.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) April 23, 2018
Fitton, a frequent guest of Hannity’s on the Fox News Channel, questioned the timing of the story by Jon Swaine, titled “Michael Cohen case shines light on Sean Hannity’s real estate empire,” and its revelation of the radio and television host’s private information in the wake of the raid on Michael Cohen.
Although Swaine did not appear to suggest that Hannity had broken the law with any of his investments, Fitton red-flagged the fact that The Guardian even had access to the information.
Swaine noted that Hannity’s investment strategy was “confirmed by thousands of pages of public records reviewed by the Guardian,” but later in the article wrote, “A Hud source said Hannity was identified in non-public filings as the 100% owner of the apartment complexes.”
The article appeared to be making a case out of the fact that Hannity’s loan guarantees from 2014 were not revealed in an interview last year with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, despite the original date falling under the Obama administration.
“He also declined to note his financial interest when he hosted Carson on Fox News last June for a discussion about Hud and housing,” Swaine wrote.
According to the Guardian:
The shell companies used to buy the properties are limited liability companies (LLCs). Like in most states, they are not required to disclose their owners to Georgia regulators. LLCs are popular among well-known figures such as Hannity who wish to keep their business arrangements private.
But the Guardian obtained records in which Hannity signed deeds and other documents on behalf of four of the LLCs, sometimes being named as principal or manager. Four more of the shell companies have owned properties in which public records say Hannity or members of his family have lived.
Fitton raised the question of the timing of Swaine’s piece given that it follows closely on the heels of the FBI raid on the home and office of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Among documents seized, a connection to Hannity was revealed when the federal judge in Cohen’s hearing ordered his client list disclosed, reportedly changing her mind after an attorney for CNN and The New York Times persuaded her to do so.
Hannity has countered that he was not a formal client of Cohen’s but had sought his legal advice on real estate.
He explained in more detail on Monday:
“It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money,” Hannity said. “The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support.”
“I have never discussed with anybody at HUD the original loans that were obtained in the Obama years, nor the subsequent refinance of such loans, as they are a private matter. I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments. I can say that every rigorous process and strict standard of improvement requirements were followed; all were met, fulfilled and inspected.”
“The LLC’s are REAL companies that spend real investment money on real properties,” he reiterated.
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