Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, has challenged the Fox News host to an on-air “Face-Off,” Newsweek is reporting.
The two men apparently don’t see eye to eye on Hannity’s relationship with the man with whom they’ve both had dealings in the past: Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen issued a payment of $130,000 in “hush money” to Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford), and Avenatti represents Daniels. Cohen is also an alleged lawyer for Hannity – something that Hannity has not mentioned. In fact, it was only revealed in the course of legal proceedings after Cohen’s office was raided by the FBI.
Hannity’s failure to mention that he’s possibly a client of Cohen, especially considering that he has defended him on his show, is seen by some as a breach of ethics at worst and bad form at best. That’s because in journalism, it’s expected that a reporter will disclose any relationship between himself and a subject, however oblique that relationship, and regardless of whether the tone of the reporter’s story is positive, negative, or neutral.
Since the news broke of Hannity’s reported relationship with Cohen, Hannity has tried to minimize the significance of their association, with Hannity insisting that their association has been limited to Cohen giving “real estate advice,” as reported by the Inquisitr.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 24, 2018
As it turns out, Hannity apparently relied on “real estate advice” to amass a nearly $100 million real estate empire, consisting of low-income apartment rentals to high-end mansions and everything in between. He owns those properties through “shell companies,” all supposedly named according to variations of the initials of his children.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday night, even before the damaging reports about Hannity’s real estate dealings were made public, Avenatti suggested that Hannity might be hiding something.
“I don’t know that there’s anything nefarious that went on between Mr. Hannity and Mr. Cohen, or that there was any NDA-type involvement or anything of that nature, but what I do know is I think it’s going to be far more extensive than people have been led to believe.”
Hannity, for his part, claims he’s being “attacked” by disclosures about his relationship with Cohen and his real estate dealings.
“It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment.”
Avenatti is apparently tired of Hannity’s talk and would rather face him directly on the air.
In a tweet Sunday night, Avenatti named Hannity directly (or at least, his Twitter handle), asking the host to invite Avenatti on his show.
We don’t agree on everything but we are both street fighters @seanhannity, which means something. Let’s set a booking so I can come on the show to talk about the case and the issues in the case. No BS. Just a straight up discussion by two men. Thanks for considering it.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 24, 2018
As of this writing, neither Sean Hannity nor Fox News has responded to Avenatti’s request.