Over the past few months, Palmer Report has been steadily making the case that Fox News host Sean Hannity was caught up in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. The giveaway was that Hannity admitted on-air to having remained in communication with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort up through Election Day, even after Trump had fired Manafort. That meant Hannity was probably caught on the Manafort FISA wiretap, which would explain a lot about his pro-Trump stances that have gone even beyond what the rest of Fox News considered reasonable. Sure enough, Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen admitted to a judge today that he’s also Hannity’s attorney.
Michael Cohen made the disclosure today under pressure, after the judge demanded that he prove he’s legitimately an attorney by revealing the names of his clients. This places Sean Hannity at the center of the federal criminal investigation into Cohen’s “fixer” work in covering up Donald Trump’s affairs, which included everything from payouts in violation of federal election law, to alleged threats against the safety of Stormy Daniels. It also raises the question of whether the communications seized by the FBI include communications between Cohen and Hannity.
Today’s revelation alone does not incriminate Hannity in any particular crime; the evidence will have to speak to that. But it does mean that Hannity has been reporting on the Trump scandal under false pretenses, which sets up the kind of ethical scandal that even Fox News may not be willing to swallow. Fox fired Bill O’Reilly last year when he became too scandalous.
Sean Hannity posted this tweet in response to the news: “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.” He seems to think this helps his case. But if Donald Trump’s attorney was willing to give free legal advice to Hannity, it suggests that the advice was in some way related to Trump, which makes the whole thing even more problematic. We still don’t have all the pieces, but it’s now safe to say this: one way or the other, Sean Hannity is going down.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report