President Donald Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity can’t argue that their communications with attorney Michael Cohen are protected because there’s "no such thing as fixer-client privilege," former top White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter said Tuesday.
Painter, who served under former President George W. Bush, told MSNBC that Cohen acted as a "fixer," and not a lawyer when he paid adult-film star Stormy Daniels not to reveal her alleged affair with Trump.
"It certainly wasn’t legal advice that’s being rendered when an attorney pays $130,000 to a porn star to keep her mouth shut," Painter said. "There’s no legal advice being rendered there at all."
Cohen was forced to reveal that Hannity is one of his only clients after the FBI raided his office, home and hotel room last week. Painter noted that by failing to disclose his relationship with Cohen, the Fox News host "made all the guests on his show look like fools because while he’s supposedly covering this in a fair and balanced manner, he’s getting legal advice and maybe some fixing from the same attorney."
Hannity, in a statement, denied that he ever hired Cohen, and claimed to have only sought his advice, mostly on real estate.
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