Fox News media analyst hits Hannity for not revealing connection to Trump lawyer

Fox News host and media analyst Howard Kurtz on Wednesday criticized his network colleague Sean Hannity for not disclosing his legal relationship with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, when defending Cohen on his show in recent days.

Hannity was revealed to be Cohen's client during a hearing Monday afternoon related to FBI raids of Cohen's office, hotel room and home.

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The Fox host had fiercely defended Cohen following the raids and used the search of Cohen's office as a launching point for attacks on the Justice Department.

Kurtz wrote in a piece for Fox News that Hannity made a mistake by not revealing to viewers he'd asked Cohen for legal advice.

"Sometimes people in journalism, on the news or opinion side, find themselves covering folks with whom they have had friendships or professional dealings," Kurtz wrote. If the relationship is serious enough, it may require recusal. If not, the best course is being transparent and disclosing it."

"Hannity doesn't believe his friendship with Cohen rose to that level," he continued. "But by making that choice, he gave his detractors ample ammunition against him."

Hannity is a staunch ally of Trump’s and frequently defends the president on his Fox News show.

Fox issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was not previously aware of Hannity's connection to Cohen, but that it continues to support Hannity, whose show is regularly a ratings success.

Other network contributors have criticized Hannity's lack of disclosure. Attorney Alan Dershowitz, a frequent Fox guest in recent weeks and an opinion contributor to The Hill, told Hannity on his show Monday night that he should have been transparent about his relationship with Cohen.

“I have the right to privacy,” Hannity responded. “It was such a minor relationship.”

Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano also criticized Hannity for his comments that while it was a minor relationship he still wants to maintain attorney-client privilege with Cohen.

“I love him. I’ve worked with him for 20 years. He can’t have it both ways,” Napolitano said.

Kurtz's daughter Judy Kurtz writes The Hill's In the Know section.