No One Got as Much Joy out of Sean Hannity’s Trump Lawyer Trouble as Stephen Colbert
And it was pretty competitive, let me tell you.
Stephen Colbert has made the most of the terrible political landscape over the past few years, suddenly finding his Daily Show/Colbert Report skillset more relevant again, complete with good reason to discuss an old enemy: Fox News. Yesterday, news broke that famed commentator, Jimmy Kimmel feuder, and self-avowed non-journalist Sean Hannity was actually involved in one of his favorite Trump-supporting
ranting talking points, and Colbert’s glee was palpable.
Like his hero in the White House, Hannity has been very critical of The Media in its coverage of all things Donald Trump, recently scolding them for their handling of an FBI raid of Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, who Hannity has also hosted on his Donald Trump Propaganda Extravaganza™ (Fox, call me if you want to license the new title) in part to help Cohen shoot down a story about a Prague trip that was bad for him and Trump. Whether or not that story was true, which is still up for debate, you’d think Hannity might want to disclose his off-air relationship as Cohen’s third, unknown client before giving him an assist on it, or publicly railing against the FBI raid of his office.
But he didn’t, and then we all found out anyway yesterday, when Cohen was forced to reveal his clients in court. That certainly puts Hannity’s outrage in a different context that would’ve been a lot more ethical to let viewers in on ahead of time. But why does everyone keep calling Hannity Cohen’s “third” client? Oh, because he only had three, which is probably very normal for a lawyer who seems more like a business partner who also quietly makes scandals go away for his friends.
Hannity, for his part, has been insistent that Cohen naming him as a client is overstating their relationship, which could very well be true and part of some kind of ploy on Cohen’s part. On the other hand, Hannity also specifically said that he talked to Cohen about something on which he wanted attorney-client privilege. Hannity’s own Breaking Bad-level understanding of the privilege aside, that pretty much immediately debunks his defense that Cohen was never officially his lawyer. He can split hairs on the specifics all he wants, but it’s pretty clear that covering the raid of Cohen’s office on his show without admitting to their off-camera relationship was unethical.
The big question now is what did Hannity want Cohen’s advice for? As Colbert pointed out, Cohen’s work for his other clients was pretty centered around making sex scandals disappear, so at this point, not knowing what they were talking about leaves a lot open to imagination as far as what Hannity might have wanted to hide, despite how much we’d rather not imagine it. He’d probably be better off putting us out of our misery there—unless, of course, that uncertainty is preferable to the truth, in which case I’m suddenly unsure that I actually want to know. Cohen has a reputation for recording his conversations, though, so we may find out one way or another, which could be what Hannity is so upset about when it comes to the FBI raid.
Colbert’s unbridled glee at all of this may have been the most palpable, but Jimmy Kimmel certainly wasn’t going to let Hannity off the hook after their recent spat, either, and neither was The Daily Show.
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