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Sean Hannity

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity speaks during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Phoenix on March 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A legal fight over what should happen to records the FBI seized from President Donald Trump's personal attorney took a surprise twist Monday when the lawyer, Michael Cohen, was forced to reveal in court that he had also secretly done legal work for Fox News host Sean Hannity.

The disclosure came as Cohen's attorneys tried to persuade a federal judge in New York to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said in hearings Friday and again on Monday that if Cohen wanted the court to declare that the some of his files were protected because of attorney confidentiality rules, he would have to divulge the names of his clients.

In a court filing Monday, Cohen's attorneys said three people received legal help from Cohen in 2017 and 2018, after Trump became president.

One was Trump himself. Another was Elliot Broidy, a Trump fundraiser who resigned from the Republican National Committee on Friday after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair. The Playmate became pregnant and elected to have an abortion.

But they initially declined to reveal the name of the third client.

The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen not to reveal the identity publicly, Cohen's lawyers, Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan, wrote. "It almost goes without saying, unfortunately, that none of Mr. Cohen's clients want to be associated with the government raid on his home and law office, or want to be affiliated in any way with the proceedings here and the attendant media coverage."

Wood, though, demanded the name.

"I understand he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law," she said.

An email sent to Fox News seeking comment from Hannity was not immediately returned.

The hearing was ongoing Monday afternoon.

It began with an appearance by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was swarmed by photographers and nearly fell as she was hustled into the courthouse, a scene that captured the sensational atmosphere around a legal fight involving the president and an FBI investigation into his personal attorney.

The April 9 raid on Cohen sought information on a variety of matters, including a $130,000 payment made to Daniels, who alleges she had sex with a married Trump in 2006.

At issue is exactly who gets to look at Cohen's seized documents and devices before they are turned over to prosecutors. Attorneys for Cohen say they want first crack. Trump's lawyers say they also want some form of prior review. Another option is to set up a "special master" who will vet the material to determine what is protected and what isn't; that is the Cohen team's second choice.

Prosecutors, who say they raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room as part of an undisclosed crime related to his personal business dealings, prefer the ordinary procedure of reviewing the documents with a panel of prosecutors unrelated to the investigation — a so-called "taint team."

At stake is an investigation that could get at the heart of Trump's longtime fixer and image protector. People familiar with the probe told The Associated Press that agents were seeking bank records, records on Cohen's dealing in the taxi industry, Cohen's communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made in 2016 to two women who say they had affairs with Trump, former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the porn star Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Lawyers for Cohen filed papers Monday saying investigators "took everything" during the raids, including more than a dozen electronic devices. They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen.

One of Trump's lawyers, Joanna Hendon, filed papers late Sunday asking a federal judge to block prosecutors from studying material seized in the raid until Cohen and the president have both had a chance to review those materials and argue which are subject to attorney-client privilege.

"Fairness and justice — as well as the appearance of fairness and justice — require that, before they are turned over to the Investigative Team, the seized materials relating to the President must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President," Hendon wrote.

Hendon proposed yet another level of protections, in which Cohen's lawyers, after finishing their initial review, would then be required to "identify to the president all seized materials that relate to him in any way and provide a copy of those materials to him and his counsel."

Cohen, who has denied wrongdoing, arrived early Monday afternoon. He did not attend Friday's hearing and was then ordered by the judge to appear in court Monday to help answer questions about his law practice.

Trump said Sunday that all lawyers are now "deflated and concerned" by the FBI raid on Cohen.

"Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past," he tweeted. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

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(18) comments

mocha1

Actually this is my favorite. Billy Bob Clinton and Obama’s DOJ, Loretta Lynch have a secret meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix, during FBI Hillary investigation. Only made public when a local cop saw them. You would think news outlets and comedians would have gone nuts, But as soon as they were told they just discussed grandkids with no corroboration the story was dropped. Compare that to the Trump coverage and you have a biased media out of control. But to libs who liked to be fooled by the liberal media, a no story.

mocha1

So now the new standard is that conservatives have to divulge anyone they have ever talked to. More liberal hypocrisy to the max. Did super liberal Martha Radditz report she had The Obama’s at her wedding every time she reported on him. Did Uber liberal George Stephenopolus disclose his relationship with Clinton Foundation when fawning over Hillary. And these elitist and other libs still do not understand why Trump was elected. On that topic, liberals, who were so totally fooled by the elitist press on Hillary’s sure victory, now totally believe what the same press is feeding them on Hannity. It has got to be such a struggle to be a liberal and believe so strongly in something that so totally mislead them a few couple of years ago.

awol2009

Rick has designated himself as the "commentary cop"who can't spell. If you hate the Tribune so much, why do you read it? We are all entitled to our own opinions and free speech, including Rick. But geese, it's like he's a piranha on Kingman for his opinions like a savage troll, no matter what the subject matter. There are reasons people keep their anonymity on these comment sections. To keep half-cocked haters like Rick from knocking on their door to punch 'em out or worse, for having an opinion.

Rick Czeczok

Be careful, as that sounded like a threat on a public page my friend. Not to smart on your part

awol2009

Threat? To stay anonymous in order to be safe from people like you? You really are whacked out, man. Not too smart on your part.

Redwall

I also dislike the Fibune and am a former subscriber (class of 2011). This City is full of like minded people who object to the drivel put upon us by the City's only newspaper.

By the way, while you are commenting on Rick's spelling you should be advised that "geese" are birds that fly and often cwap in Cameron Park along with demonstrating liberals. Perhaps you meant "geez".

hrpufnstuf

Rick just needs to stop reading the Tribune. I think he just likes to see his name on here. Can you imagine waking up everyday knowing you have to make yourself read a paper you dislike so you can complain about everything. By the way, is your spell check on, or are you just that bad at spelling?

Redwall

Your sentence construction is that of a middle schooler; report to remedial language class and report back in six months.

awol2009

Hannity has his undies in a knot over this. He claims he never "officially" hired Cohen for legal representation, never had a billable hours invoice or paid him a dime. But now, he is fussing about attorney/client privilege and feels "violated". How can one claim attorney/client privilege when they never officially hired, retained, or had billable hours? Such alt-Right double standards. This gets more comical by the day. tRump whines about having many lawyers, "too many lawyers!" I guess when one leads a corrupt and criminal life like tRump, they need armies of lawyers to beat down what they deem "little people" until they fold and give up. Like the building contractors they don't pay, landowners they practically steal from, or tRump University customers' they scammed and get sued for, only to settle for pennies on the dollar. tRump wrote these scammed Americans a check for $25,000,000 a year ago. People actually voted for this slimy crooked buffoon. Oh, but he "really cares about people". I hope his nights are wicked and sleepless until he is forced out of office. tRump is a vile thug. Teflon Don's non-stick coating may be wearing off.

Tim Russell

Mob Lawyers usually represent than just one mmember of the Mob Family.

kingman10

Question is, why did Cohen represent Hannity? What secret legal work did he do for him? Was there another payoff to Stormy? What sort of trouble was Hannity in? Inquiring minds want to know.

Rick Czeczok

Read your last post and then read this. Wow another hypocrite faster then fast at work.
I know my name and so do you, it's at the top. What's yours big shot. By the way haw did your analysis vs. mine on the Holman road turn out? You really need to stop commenting.

Redwall

Maybe they discussed a fantasy football draft. Are you daft?

Rick Czeczok

Gee this isn't a liberal paper, much. What makes this news? Oh yea, Hannity works for FOX so they have to attack. WOW no wonder Lee Enterprises is about to go bankrupt.
As soon as they stop giving me a free paper, I'm done with them. They begged me to continue for basically free so they can show there advertisers that they are significant. Hey Homey gang what do you pay for your garbage paper.......HAHAHAHAHAH

Frangel45

You should start looking at these news items from non-political views. This is important to know. Please don't always call things 'liberal' just because you have a phony conservative identity even when you don't agree with their agenda. I've watched your 'knee jerk' responses for some time - perhaps it's time you start using some critical thinking before writing.

kingman10

Amen frangel, rick whatever his name is not a very inspirational or intelligent writer, he sees the world in black and white, liberal or conservative, my way or the highway. A very limited perception of the world.

SophiaBelle

Brava!

Rick Czeczok

Knee jerk, Hannity never had him as a lawyer, never paid him for any services, never had him defend him. You are obviously another liberal, so you only here and see what you want to. This opinion page should read, Democratic sounding page as that is what it has become. Keep doing what you do, as it is slowly destroying this paper. No skin off my back, it's your loss not mine. If King is your type of guy you can say nothing I want to here, as he is the most one sided person I have ever heard or read. Just read any of his posts, his response to your post, and then read the one he just posted. Yikkies what a hypocrite.......

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