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Sean Hannity responds to bombshell news that he was Michael Cohen's mystery client: 'I never retained him in the traditional sense'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/16/2018 Allan Smith

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Fox News host Sean Hannity responded to the bombshell news that he was lawyer Michael Cohen's mystery third client during his Monday radio show, insisting he "never retained him in the traditional sense."

"Michael never represented me in any matter," Hannity said of President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer. "I never retained him in the traditional sense. I never received an invoice from Michael. I never paid legal fees to Michael."

But Hannity added that he asked Cohen "brief" legal questions.

Hannity also said he may have handed Cohen $10 and said, "I want privilege to cover me about this conversation."

Hannity said none of the conversations he had with Cohen, which he "assumed" were confidential, involved "any matter between me and a third-party."

His response came after a federal judge ordered the release of his name. Earlier in the day, Cohen's attorneys argued that the third client's name should remain anonymous. The attorneys said in the filing that Cohen represented three clients in the past year: Trump; Elliot Broidy, the Republican fundraiser for whom Cohen helped facilitate a $1.6 million payment to a Playboy playmate; and a third person, who was revealed as Hannity.

In their letter to US District Judge Kimba M. Wood, Cohen's attorneys Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan wrote that the third client did not allow them to reveal the fact that they utilized Cohen's services.

Sean Hannity © Provided by Business Insider Sean Hannity "Of the three legal clients, Donald J. Trump and Elliot Broidy have allowed us to reveal the fact that they are legal clients," Harrison and Ryan wrote. "The other legal client indicated that they did not authorize their name to be publicly filed in connection with this matter and directed Mr. Cohen to appeal any order to disclose their name."

But that didn't hold up with Wood, who insisted that the third client's name be disclosed publicly at Monday's hearing.

Cohen's attorneys said the client did not want to be associated with their client. Harrison, after being told by Wood that the name had to be revealed, then said Hannity's name out loud.

It was not immediately clear what legal work Cohen provided for Hannity.

Cohen facilitated a $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump. He also facilitated the Broidy payment after a Playboy playmate said he impregnated her.

During his Monday show, Hannity, who said he utilizes eight separate attorneys, said the media was going "nuts" about the story because they think Cohen was involved in "a big settlement case for Hannity."

"They're hoping for the worst when it relates to any conservative," he said.

Hannity and Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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