Fox News says Hannity has 'full support' amid backlash over Cohen

Fox News says Hannity has 'full support' amid backlash over Cohen
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Fox News on Tuesday issued a statement of support for prime-time host Sean Hannity amid backlash over his previously undisclosed ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE's personal lawyer.

It was revealed in a court hearing on Monday that Hannity is the previously unknown third client of Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney. The network said in its statement that it was "unaware" of Hannity's connection to Cohen, whom he has frequently covered during his program, before it was announced in court.

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"While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity's informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support," the network said.

A federal judge ordered Cohen to disclose the identity of his third client during a hearing over the documents seized during an FBI raid of Cohen's office, home and hotel room last week. 

Hannity was harshly critical of the raids and used them to attack the investigation into Russian election meddling. The FBI obtained a search warrant for Cohen partly due to a referral from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who is leading the investigation.

In a statement Monday, Hannity sought to distance himself from Cohen, saying that the lawyer never represented him professionally.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective,” Hannity said, adding that the conversations “dealt almost exclusively about real estate."  

Critics tore into Hannity for not disclosing that he was Cohen’s client despite repeatedly speaking on the air about Cohen, the FBI raid and Trump’s legal scandals.

One Democratic lawmaker called for Fox News to "immediately" suspend the "Hannity" host, and another called for him to be fired

And Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz, a frequent guest on Hannity’s show as well as an opinion contributor for The Hill, confronted him on-air, saying he "should have disclosed [his] relationship with Cohen.”