Update: Just minutes after Judge Wood ruled that Cohen’s mystery “third client”‘s identity had to be publicly disclosed, the name has been revealed – as so ordered.
It’s Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Though the circumstances and subject of Cohen’s legal advice haven’t been disclosed, it’s worth noting that Hannity faced a handful of sexual harassment allegations late last year.
Courthouse news reporter Adam Klasfeld provided a detailed play-by-play of today’s hearing via twitter.
Judge Wood just took the stand.
The attorneys introduce themselves.
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 16, 2018
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President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen will appear in Manhattan federal court Monday at 2 pm ET in the courtroom of judge Kima Wood for a hearing about how the government should handle materials seized from his office and home during an FBI raid last week.
Cohen’s lawyers have filed an injunction seeking to stop the government from reviewing the materials, which they argue could include communications between Cohen and President Trump that should be shielded by attorney-client privilege. Instead, his lawyers have argued that they should be allowed to review the documents before the government can appoint a “taint team” consisting of third-party investigators who will make that determination.
Information leaked late last week and over the weekend would paint Cohen as a type of fixer who typically handled payoffs to cover up his clients affairs. In addition to allegedly making payments to two separate women on behalf of President Trump, it was reported over the weekend that Cohen paid $1.6 million to a woman who had an abortion after being impregnated by former Republican National Committee Deputy Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy. Broidy resigned on Friday after admitting to the affair.
And a filing that Cohen’s legal team submitted just hours before Cohen is set to appear in Manhattan court only further entrenches this reputation, as it confirms that Cohen gave legal advice to three people in the past year: President Trump, Broidy and a third person whom Cohen declined to name, Bloomberg reported.
“The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen to not to reveal the identity publicly,” Cohen’s lawyers wrote.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press, pointing out more details from the filing, cited Cohen’s lawyers as saying the FBI investigators “took everything” during last week’s raids, which they have described as “completely unprecedented.”
Cohen’s attorneys said the FBI seized dozens of electronic devices and other items including documents and data unrelated to the probable cause used to justify the warrants.
Cohen is reportedly under criminal investigation for personal business dealings unrelated to the Russia probe and has been ordered to appear in court Monday after his lawyers successfully secured a delay.
The raid purportedly sought information on payments Cohen made to former adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen MacDougal, who was reportedly paid off by Trump ally David Pecker.
Expect the question of the third individual’s identity to become a major issue in today’s hearing, which will be closely watched by investors and political observers alike. Investors will be hoping details coming out of the hearing won’t spoil today’s rally.