The “outrageous outing” of Sean Hannity, Fox News political commentator (often controversial), as attorney Michael Cohen’s third client (President Trump #1) violated longstanding, judicially endorsed standards, writes Andrew McCarthy in NRO.
There is no justification for publicizing Mr. Hannity’s name, who himself is not above using flimsy evidence to lambaste political opponents and Trump critics. But courts, reminds Mr. McCarthy, “don’t do poetic justice, they do prosaic justice – the routine, workaday adherence to the principles and standards on which the rule of law depends.”
The court’s order that Hannity’s name be disclosed in open court violated longstanding, judicially endorsed standards against identifying uncharged persons in legal proceedings attendant to criminal investigations.
Forget about evidence of wrongdoing. There is not even a suggestion that Hannity is involved in any crimes. He is a longtime friend of Cohen’s. He says they’ve had some informal legal discussions about such matters as real estate — and as any lawyer will tell you, informal discussions with non-lawyer friends are common. Hannity insists, however, that he has never retained Cohen to represent him in any legal matter, and has never paid him or received an invoice from him. There is no public evidence to contradict this, and no suggestion that Cohen has previously represented himself as Hannity’s attorney.
Under that kind of justice, courts protect uncharged people from being identified in public proceedings in connection with criminal investigations. The failure of the court and the government lawyers to enforce that standard just adds fuel to the fiery contention that, where President Trump is involved, investigations are drive by politics, not law enforcement.
Read more from Andrew McCarthy here.