What Sean Hannity Has Been Saying About Michael Cohen

Sean Hannity was in the news, and during his prime-time show on Fox News on Monday night, it was clear that he knew it.

During a court hearing earlier that day, Mr. Hannity was named as a client of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel room were raided and searched by F.B.I. agents on April 9 as part of a criminal investigation.

He had already denied being a client on his radio program and on Twitter, and when his Fox program “Hannity” came on at 9 p.m. Eastern, he vowed to address what he called the “rumors and speculation.”

Before the raid, Mr. Cohen himself had been a frequent guest on Mr. Hannity’s TV and radio programs.

In the week since, Mr. Hannity had discussed the lawyer and his relationship to Mr. Trump multiple times without disclosing any significant connection to Mr. Cohen, something criticized on the air by the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a frequent guest who had discussed the matter on the show during the past week.

“I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “You could have said that you had asked him for advice or whatever.”

Fox News issued a statement on Tuesday saying Mr. Hannity had the network’s full support. Here’s a look at the many times Mr. Hannity discussed Mr. Cohen on the program since the April 9 raid.

‘Cohen was never part of the Trump administration’

Hours after the news broke, Mr. Hannity opened his show by mentioning it. He immediately connected the action by federal prosecutors in New York to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“Mueller’s witch-hunt investigation is now a runaway train that is clearly careening off the tracks,” he said.

The raid on Mr. Cohen’s office, court records show, was part of a monthslong investigation. It was overseen by the United States attorney for the Southern District. However Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said on April 9 that the search was carried out on a referral by Mr. Mueller’s office.

Without mentioning his own connection to Mr. Cohen, Mr. Hannity then told viewers that “Cohen was never part of the Trump administration or the Trump campaign.”

Mr. Hannity went on to compare Mr. Mueller’s investigation and the raid on Mr. Cohen to an F.B.I. investigation in 2015 and 2016 that focused on Hillary Clinton’s handling of her email.

“You think Hillary Clinton’s attorneys had their offices raided during this email investigation?” he asked.

He raised the issue again later that evening, referring to it as “the double standard aspect” in a conversation with the Fox News reporter Sara Carter.

‘Russia collusion has now become Stormy Daniels payment by his own lawyer’

In a monologue that night, Mr. Hannity repeated his view that the raid on Mr. Cohen amounted to overreach by the F.B.I. and Mr. Mueller in particular.

At several points, he alluded to the $130,000 payment Mr. Cohen has acknowledged making to Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film star better known as Stormy Daniels, who has said she had an affair with Mr. Trump while he was married.

“The F.B.I. is more than capable of tracing a Russia collusion investigation somehow to a porn star and the door of Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen,” he said.

Later that night, Mr. Hannity discussed the raid with Mr. Dershowitz. He opened their conversation by referring to what he saw as the expanding scope of Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

“‘Russia collusion’ has now become ‘Stormy Daniels payment by his own lawyer,’” Mr. Hannity said.

At no time did he disclose that his own name might be in Mr. Cohen’s files as a client.

‘Mueller has now basically backdoored his way into every single Trump business deal’

The following evening, “Hannity” again opened with the host decrying “Robert Mueller’s never-ending partisan witch hunt.”

His focus widened somewhat to include the impact the raid might have on Mr. Trump.

Both in the early part of his show and in a subsequent conversation with Mr. Dershowitz, he mentioned Mr. Cohen’s role in the Trump Organization and his connection to Mr. Trump’s business operations.

“Mueller has now basically backdoored his way into every single Trump business deal, at least since Michael Cohen has worked with Donald Trump,” he said during his opening segment.

In his discussion with Mr. Dershowitz, Mr. Hannity then asked whether the F.B.I. had violated Mr. Cohen’s constitutional rights or Mr. Trump’s lawyer-client privilege.

“Doesn’t that backdoor Mueller, even though it’s the Southern District of New York, right into every business deal, right into every private agreement that the president has ever made?” Mr. Hannity asked.

He did not disclose any legal relationship with Mr. Cohen.

‘The destroy Trump media has become totally unhinged’

As Mr. Hannity continued to discuss Mr. Cohen, the media’s coverage of the raid, which he viewed as obsessive, was a frequent target.

On April 10, he spent several minutes discussing what he saw as a media conspiracy theory that Mr. Trump might order military action in Syria to distract from the raid.

“The destroy Trump media has become totally unhinged over the raid of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen,” he said, “with some of them going so far as to question if Donald Trump can take action in Syria as a distraction like the movie ‘Wag the Dog.’”

The movie, released in 1997 and directed by Barry Levinson, is about a Hollywood producer and a Washington consultant who decide to start a fictional war to distract voters from a presidential scandal.

Mr. Hannity then discussed the media’s reporting on Syria and Mr. Cohen with Dan Bongino, a former United States Secret Service agent, and the radio host Rick Ungar.

‘These tactics are not American’

Two days after the raid, on April 11, Mr. Hannity shifted his focus to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who supervises Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

In his third conversation with Mr. Dershowitz, he referenced Mr. Dershowitz’s comments in the previous evenings that the raid violated Mr. Cohen’s constitutional rights.

He then asked if Mr. Dershowitz thought it was “the attorney general’s job to now step in and fire Rod Rosenstein?”

Later, he played a clip of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comparing the F.B.I.’s raid on Mr. Cohen to the German Gestapo and communist Russia.

“These tactics are not American,” Mr. Hannity said. “That’s the point.”

‘A perfectly legitimate business move’

On April 12, Mr. Hannity spent most of his show discussing James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director who released a memoir describing his relationship with Mr. Trump this week.

But he diverged briefly to discuss a report that a former Federal Election Commission chairman, Bradley Smith, did not think Mr. Cohen should be charged over his payment to Ms. Clifford.

“Smith is arguing that Cohen’s payment is a perfectly legitimate business move,” Mr. Hannity said, “and that any attempt to connect it to an in-kind contribution is an extreme stretch. It doesn’t fit.”

Then Mr. Hannity turned back to other news.

‘It was such a minor relationship’

It was not until he had a week of programs under his belt, after his name emerged in court, that Mr. Hannity described his relationship with Mr. Cohen.

He did so in response to the objections of Mr. Dershowitz, who had spent a week discussing the case with him, apparently unaware of the connection.

Earlier in the broadcast, Mr. Hannity had acknowledged the attention the revelation by Mr. Cohen’s legal team was getting, calling the media coverage “absolutely insane.” He introduced a 46-second montage of cable news hosts and commentators saying his name repeatedly.

At the end of the show, in response to Mr. Dershowitz, Mr. Hannity repeated assertions he had made earlier in the day, saying: “Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal matter. I never retained his services. I never received an invoice. I never paid Michael Cohen for legal fees. I did have occasional brief conversations with Michael Cohen — he’s a great attorney — about legal questions I had or I was looking for input and perspective.”

The host described the relationship as “minimal” in response to Mr. Dershowitz’s initial objection.

“But, you know, it’s a complex situation when you are speaking to millions of people,” Mr. Dershowitz later commented.

“Professor,” Mr. Hannity interrupted, “it was such a minor relationship in terms of it had to do with real estate and nothing political.”