Fox News Issues Statement Addressing Sean Hannity’s Relationship With Trump’s Lawyer

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The news media world was hit with a bombshell Monday when it was revealed in a court hearing that Fox News host Sean Hannity was a client of President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The hearing in which that revelation came out was over the future use of evidence that the government had seized from Cohen during raids last week; the Cohen team’s effort to block prosecutors’ access to the materials failed.

The concurrent issue of Hannity’s relationship with Cohen remains pressing, however. As could be expected, Hannity has railed against the government going after Cohen during raids last week, but he did not before now reveal his personal relationship with the man he was so ardently defending.

Fox News has itself now spoken out about this apparent conflict of interest on Hannity’s part, and the company has both revealed that it is sticking by him for the time being and claimed to have had no prior knowledge of Hannity’s relationship with the president’s personal lawyer.

In a statement circulated among news outlets, the company stated:

‘While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.’

Note that the company specifies that their take on the relationship between Hannity and Cohen is that it was “informal.” In specifying as such, the company is sticking by Hannity to the point of backing up his side of the story over the implication from the Monday court hearing, which is that the relationship was more formal.

Remarkably, no matter the exact formality of Cohen and Hannity’s relationship, Cohen is not even the first Trump associated lawyer who he maintained a tie with.

For instance, in 2017, lawyers Jay Sekulow and Victoria Toensing signed onto a cease-and-desist letter sent to an Oklahoma radio station on Hannity’s behalf, identifying themselves as his legal counsel. The letter was sent in response to the circulation of a story from activist Debbie Schlussel of Hannity being “creepy” towards her and trying to get her to go back with him to his hotel room.

Sekulow currently works for the president while Toensing was revealed earlier this year to be joining the Trump legal team alongside her husband Joseph diGenova, although that announcement was eventually abruptly retracted.

Sekulow is identified by The Atlantic as “the only known personal attorney for President Trump working full-time on the response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry.”

Cohen, on the other hand, has represented the president in such matters as the scandal of his alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. As is well known by now, Cohen got Daniels to sign a nondisclosure agreement covering that affair and also delivered a massive hush money payment to her.

Cohen also represented the now-former deputy finance chair of the RNC in a matter involving his own affair; after a Playboy model said she got pregnant by him and wanted an abortion, Broidy dished out a whopping $1.6 million.

Hannity claims that he only ever sought Cohen’s advice in matters that did not involve a third party.

Featured image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images.