So Donald Trump’s Jew lawyer Michael Cohen was recently raided by cops over alleged financial crimes. Information that falls under attorney client privilege has been seized and will likely be leaked to the media to damage Trump.
In the midst of this ridiculous situation, Cohen has been forced to reveal that Sean Hannity was also one of his clients.
Sean Hannity has wavered over the years on whether he is a journalist or conservative activist, but ethics specialists say that whichever hat the Fox News host was wearing last week when he condemned the FBI raid on attorney Michael Cohen’s office, he should have disclosed that he’s a client of Cohen’s.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a newspaper reporter or an opinion journalist,” said Indira Lakshmanan, the journalism ethics chair at the Poynter Institute. “If you want to maintain credibility with an audience, and be honest with them, you have to disclose all facts.”
Just hours after the raid on the office of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Hannity inveighed that special counsel Robert Mueller had “declared war against the President of the United States.” But Hannity didn’t disclose that he, too, had received legal advice from Cohen. Hannity’s relationship with the embattled attorney was revealed during Monday’s hearing over materials gathered during the raid — and only after a judge pressed Cohen’s attorney the identity of a previously unnamed third client.
The omission raised questions about whether Hannity had violated journalistic ethics – or whether he was a journalist at all.
Hannity has been one of Trump’s most vocal advocates on cable news. It is guaranteed that there’s now going to be a push to get him fired from Fox News. They tried to get him fired in the midst of the #MeToo hysteria but the claim against him was so pathetically ridiculous it gained no traction.
They’re either going to try to get him fired over whatever his direct dealings with Cohen were or they’re going to claim that he violated journalism ethics by not disclosing his meetings with Cohen. Hannity did lots of stories about Trump and Cohen and revealed no such relationship with Cohen.
But obviously this is an insane situation. Attorney client privilege has been a sacred part of the American justice system since the founding of the country. This has been violated as part of an effort to bring down the President through a raid on his personal lawyer. We saw nothing of this sort for Hillary Clinton or any of her associates even though she deleted 33,000 emails, mishandled classified information and committed all sorts of crimes.
We’ll see how this develops but I don’t think there’s any question that we are going to see the pitchforks out for Hannity.