Back in February, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity began his popular show with a monologue, just as he had many times before. During a segment that appeared on YouTube, Hannity made remarks hinting that this installment of The Sean Hannity Show would be different.
Hannity used idioms like “the tip of the iceberg” and peppered his discourse with buzzwords like “alarming” to describe the information that was to come. And then, Hannity began weaving a narrative before his millions of viewers about a controversy he billed as “bigger than Watergate.”
Hannity laid out his message, connecting the dots as he moved along a story that outlined a vast, bipartisan conspiracy, hatched against a sitting president of the United States. Hannity admonished his viewers that the coming evidence would “rock the foundations of Washington, D.C. and that they would be questioning themselves about how such a thing could happen here in America.
With that, Hannity launched into a tale that implicated Hillary Clinton, special counsel Robert Mueller, and others engaging in an effort to discredit and undermine the presidency of Donald Trump. During the segment, Hannity pointed out several things that he believed were grounds to prosecute Clinton and to shut down the Mueller probe.
At the end of Hannity’s monologue, he “almost” guaranteed that there would be a massive investigation and people would be going to jail.
And now, Hannity is at the center of the very controversy he has reported on for months, due to the revelation of his ties to the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Hannity’s name was revealed as one of Cohen’s clients after the attorneys for the embattled counselor unsuccessfully tried to shield Hannity’s identity from public disclosure. Cohen’s attorneys told Judge Kimba Wood that the then-unnamed client had asked that his identity not be made public.
However, after a bit of futile wrangling, the judge ordered the name revealed and Sean Hannity, a Fox News personality and ardent Trump supporter, was outed in open court.
According to Hannity, Cohen has never represented him in any legal matter but did acknowledge he had received informal legal advice concerning real estate and that he assumed that conversations between them was privileged. Hannity also made the curious statements that he had never retained Cohen “in the traditional sense” and that his questions were “exclusively almost” about real estate.
Despite Hannity’s efforts to distance himself from Cohen, a CNN report raised questions about the true nature of Hannity’s dealings with Cohen, asking why Cohen’s attorneys named Hannity as a client if he is not.
Since Cohen’s current client list allegedly consists of only Hannity, Donald Trump, and former RNC chairman Elliot Broidy, this has led to speculation that Hannity may have enlisted Cohen to help him keep an illicit affair under wraps. Cohen has admitted to paying adult movie actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump, and also reportedly facilitated the payment of $1.6 million to another woman on behalf of Broidy. Hannity vehemently denies that Cohen represented him in any type of matter, including third parties.
Consequently, Hannity is now under fire for his failure to tell his audience, or his employer, about his association with Cohen while being an outspoken figure concerning Trump. Fox legal analyst, Alan Dershowitz, publicly scolded Hannity on his own show for his lack of transparency. Fox News has said that although it was unaware of Hannity’s relationship with Cohen, he still has its full support.