Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Monday Fox News host Sean Hannity should have been more open about his dealings with Michael Cohen after it was revealed that Hannity is also a client of President Trump’s personal lawyer.
Dershowitz interrupted a segment to scold Hannity,
‘I do want to say, I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show,’ he told the host.
‘You could have said just you had asked him for advice or whatever. But I think it would have been much much better if you had disclosed that relationship.’
Hannity interrupted to tell the professor that if he had ‘understood the nature’ of the relationship, he’d see ‘it was minimal.’
The Washington Examiner reports,
“I think he had to make a choice, and I think the choice should have been to disclose to the viewers that he has a relationship,” Dershowitz told CNN, referring to Hannity’s coverage of Cohen after the FBI raided his New York office, home, and hotel seeking communications between him and Trump.
“He could have described the relationship in any way he wanted, but the viewers have a right to know there is a relationship,” Dershowitz continued.
The Department of Justice announced Friday that Cohen had been “under criminal investigation” by the Southern District of New York’s U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan for months before the raid, with investigators focusing on his “personal business dealings.”
In a court filing, Cohen’s attorneys stated that he had 10 clients from 2017 to 2018, including Trump, Elliott Broidy, the former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, and an unidentified client.
But on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba M. Wood, the federal judge presiding over Cohen’s case, ordered Cohen’s legal counsel to divulge the client’s identity.
Dershowitz also chastised Cohen for not establishing a clearer dynamic with Hannity to avoid confusion over whether their conversations were protected by attorney-client privilege.
He added that Wood may have set a dangerous precedent if she “categorically ruled today that the name of a client is never covered by lawyer-client privilege.”
“If that is what she said, I haven’t read her opinion,” Dershowitz qualified.
“If there is a lawyer who is only a fixer and only fixes cases involving guys who have had affairs with women, you don’t want to be known as that guy’s client,” he said. “In cases like that, the courts have protected the names of clients when they have sought to be disclosed.”
Hannity responded on his show to the criticism,