Despite years of friendly on-air encounters, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano drew the line at defending colleague Sean Hannity over his latest controversy.
As part of an investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, the “Hannity” host was recently outed as one of only a handful of clients on Michael Cohen‘s roster.
In the wake of that courtroom revelation, Hannity claimed both that he never retained Cohen “in the traditional sense” and that he anticipated attorney-client privilege regarding their discussions.
Napolitano declared in an appearance on “Outnumbered” Tuesday that Hannity “can’t have it both ways.”
The very clear lines defining such privilege cannot be blurred, the former judge said.
“If he was a client, then his confidential communications to Mr. Cohen are privileged,” Napolitano said. “If Mr. Cohen was never his lawyer, then nothing that he said to Mr. Cohen is privileged.”
Based on Hannity’s own on-air comments, including an insinuation that he “may have” given Cohen a nominal amount of money in exchange for privilege, Napolitano found that he had not met the threshold required by law.
“I must tell you that that is a myth,” he said. “The attorney-client privilege requires a formal relationship reduced to writing for a specific legal purpose.”