Sean Hannity slipped out of a question about his relationship with Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen – even as a red flag was raised that should have prompted further questioning.
In their interview, Extra’s AJ Calloway asked Hannity about people jumping to “the worst conclusion” about the recent revelation that he is a client of Cohen’s. Presumably that “worst conclusion” is that like Cohen’s other two clients, the work for Hannity involved hush money to a mistress. Hence Hannity’s emphatic claims that Cohen never represented him with regard to any third party.
Personally, I take Hannity’s word that Cohen never represented him formally and only provided informal legal advice. But that leaves wide open the question as to why Cohen wanted to keep private material seized by the FBI that involved Hannity. As I keep saying, Hannity could have plenty to do with Trump-fixer Cohen that has nothing to do with being a legal client. In fact, Hannity hinted at that possibility when he said about his relationship with Cohen, “My questions exclusively, almost, focused on real estate.”
It’s not just I who suspects there’s more between Cohen and Hannity than he wants to admit. Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti thinks so too. On MSNBC, Avenatti and contributor/attorney Jill Wine-Banks agreed that Cohen named Hannity as a client in order to conceal something that probably had nothing to do with legal work for him. Avenatti made that point more pointedly with Bill Maher: “There’s no question in my mind there are documents with Sean Hannity’s name on them. The extent of that relationship, when it finally surfaces, I think will be very embarrassing to Sean Hannity,” Avenatti said.
In the Extra interview, Hannity and Calloway had this exchange about Cohen:
HANNITY: I will always tell you the truth, we’ve been friends a long time. He’s never handled any case for me. None whatsoever. I asked him about New York real estate as an attorney, maybe three questions. And that’s it. That’s the whole extent of that professional relationship. No third party. No case. No anything. … No money ever exchanged. Never got billed. No retainer. He’s smart; I was checking his opinion.
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CALLOWAY: Do you think it was fair for your name to be read out?
HANNITY (After a sigh and a pause) Not really, no.
That all but begs the question as to what the extent of any non-legal relationship Hannity and Cohen might have had, especially since Cohen is claiming a privilege.
Sadly, Calloway did not ask.
Watch the Q&A above. In it, Hannity also says something kind about Jimmy Kimmel.
Crossposted at News Hounds.