Sean Hannity doesn’t understand attorney-client privilege.
After some of the conversations I saw on social media, regarding the revelation of the Fox News host being the mystery “third client” of Trump fixer/personal attorney, Michael Cohen, neither do a lot of other people with access to Twitter.
Another Fox News personality, Judge Andrew Napolitano, on the other hand, felt comfortable pointing out the mistakes made by Cohen and Hannity (and all those social media law scholars).
Speaking on “Outnumbered Overtime” on Tuesday, Judge Nap laid it out for Hannity: You can’t have it both ways.
“I love him. I’ve worked with him for 20 years. He can’t have it both ways,” Napolitano said. “If he was a client, then his confidential communications to Mr. Cohen are privileged. If Mr. Cohen was never his lawyer, then nothing that he said to Mr. Cohen is privileged.”
So how does that work? Cohen, who is barely a lawyer, to be honest, attempted to hide Hannity’s identity in court, based on attorney-client privilege. When that didn’t fly with Judge Kimba Wood, forcing him to reveal the name, Hannity attempted to blow it off, saying he’d never retained Cohen, had only consulted, and occasionally handed him $10 to keep things quiet.
I don’t care what excuses they use or how they attempt to work around it. That just smells bad.
Napolitano went on to point out that tossing money at Cohen and saying, “I’d like $10 worth of that attorney-client privilege” isn’t a real thing that happens in law, and Cohen should have told Hannity that.
“The attorney-client privilege requires a formal relationship reduced to writing for a specific legal purpose,” he said.
“So anything that is there regarding Sean Hannity can be revealed?” Fox News host Harris Faulkner asked.
“In my view, yes,” Napolitano said.
The concerning part of all this is the nightly, rabid attacks by Hannity on the ongoing Russia probe, and in recent weeks, his attacks on authorities for the FBI raid on Cohen’s home and office.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for wire and bank fraud, as well as campaign finance law violations for the payoffs of several Trump mistresses before the 2016 election.
Hannity didn’t feel it necessary to reveal that he was a client/not-client of Cohen’s while he was defending him nightly, nor during any of Cohen’s multiple appearances on Hannity’s show, to act as the purveyor of the state run message for those evenings.
Conflict of interests?
For now, Fox News is standing by Hannity, even though they claim surprise at finding he was mentioned as Michael Cohen’s “mystery client” in court.