Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, explicitly told Bill Maher Friday night what he had previously hinted at: that material seized in the FBI raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen will probably be an even bigger problem for Sean Hannity than the revelation that he’s been a secret client.
I highly recommend the entire interview with Avenatti. He called Cohen “a zero” who is neither tough nor smart, two qualities needed in a fixer. Trump has surrounded himself with people who are incompetent, Avenatti said, “and the chickens are going to come home to roost.”
Avenatti's comments about Hannity and Cohen begin at about 5:50. Here’s the important quote: "I think that when the documents actually come out – and there are documents, there’s no question in my mind there are documents with Sean Hannity’s name on them. The extent of that relationship, when it finally surfaces, I think will be very embarrassing to Sean Hannity."
This validates what I said several days ago: that whatever material Cohen has with Hannity’s name on it will be far more significant than his failure to disclose that Cohen gave him legal advice.
Avenatti previously hinted at that when he said on MSNBC, earlier in the week, that Cohen had tried to claim attorney-client privilege with Sean Hannity in order to conceal documents from prosecutors. "There is no question in my mind that there is one or more documents with Sean Hannity’s name on it that Michael Cohen does not want disclosed. … This is just instinctually what I know as an 18-year trial lawyer who’s dealt with a lot of big cases, OK? There is a reason why they want Sean Hannity’s name as a client and it has everything to do, not with what happened today, but with the next shoe to drop which involves a document, an email, a text message. […] There is something there. Michael Cohen doesn’t just volunteer the name Sean Hannity as a client unless there is a document that they want to deep-six or keep confidential. It doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen."
For some reason, the media has been focusing on Hannity’s status as a client (or not) and his failure to disclose his relationship with Cohen which, granted, is significant. But as Avenatti suggested, Hannity seems to have been involved with Cohen in ways that have nothing to do with being a law client. In fact, as I wrote earlier in the week, some of Hannity's cagey language suggested as much. The fact that Cohen had Hannity’s apparent approval to assert attorney-client privilege over material involving him, while also claiming not to be a client, is even more suspicious.
Now, at least The Daily Beast seems to have caught on
Interestingly, Avenatti went on to say that he thought Cohen was under electronic surveillance and that “the basis for the warrants was the fact that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office had reason to believe that Michael Cohen was undertaking efforts to destroy documents.”
This raises more interesting questions: What documents might Cohen have been trying to destroy? And which ones, if any, had Hannity’s name on them?
One other interesting factoid from the interview: Avenatti indicated he’d be interested in running for political office.
Watch Avenatti predict more trouble for Hannity above, from the April 20, 2018 Real Time with Bill Maher.
Crossposted at News Hounds.