19 April, 2018
After the FBI raid on Cohen's office, home and hotel room in NY last Monday, prosecutors revealed in court that Cohen had been under investigation for months for what they described as "criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings".
Hannity failed to reveal his conflict of interest when he railed against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's raid.
Hannity responded to the news on Twitter shortly thereafter, denying that Cohen ever represented him and describing their contact as "brief discussions about legal questions".
Hannity framed the situation as: "This is now officially an all hands on deck effort to totally malign, and, if possible, impeach the president of the United States".
Hannity is under attack for failing to disclose his relationship with Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer despite using his show-America's most watched cable news program in 2017-to promote the president and defend Cohen multiple times.
Said Hannity, on his radio show Monday: "Not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever - ever - involved a matter between me and any third party". Cohen is under investigation over hush payments made to keep women quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.
All that prosecutors will say is that their investigation isn't about Cohen's legal work.More news: May ready to approve military action over Syria attack
But even if an attorney-client relationship between Cohen and Hannity did actually exist, it is the client, not the attorney, who controls the disclosure of communication.
"You're like my brother, but I'm glad for like a millisecond that the heat's off me and on you", Ingraham told Hannity as he handed over from his show to hers on Monday night (April 16). He also arranged a $1.6 million payoff to silence a former Playboy model who was impregnated by Trump fundraiser Elliot Broidy. I never received an invoice. Only yesterday did the public learn of a secret tie between Hannity and Cohen - Hannity had been Cohen's legal client.
Although he later clarified his comments to suggest that he expected that some of his conversations with Cohen would be confidential, his earlier denial that a relationship ever existed renders that expectation unpersuasive.
"And to be absolutely clear: They never involved any matter, any-sorry to disappoint so many-matter between me or third parties, or third groups, at all". He said he merely asked the attorney for advice - usually about real estate. Shame on him and double shame on Fox News.
Prime-time hosts on cable news channels help shape the civic conversation of the nation in much the same way editorial and op-ed pages do in newspapers.
David Zurawik is the media critic for The Baltimore Sun.