More than a few people suggested that was the case on Monday after the Fox News host insisted that he was never represented by attorney Michael Cohen. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is currently at the heart of a federal investigation.
Earlier in the day, Cohen’s team of lawyers tried unsuccessfully to protect the identity of a “mystery” client, who turned out to be Hannity. After the news broke, Hannity said on his radio show:
“I never gave him a retainer. Never paid any fees. I may have handed him $10 once. I requested attorney-client privilege with him, and assumed our conversations would be confidential, but they have never involved any matter with him and any third party.”
The line about how he “may have” given Cohen $10 to gain “attorney-client privilege” was what captured people’s attention. While money is generally not a requirement for invoking that privilege, the notion persists in popular culture and has been used as a plot device on numerous TV programs, including “Breaking Bad.”
In the second season episode titled “Better Call Saul,” attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) ― who would later star in his own show by that title ― urged Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) to “put a dollar in my pocket” to ensure attorney-client privilege. That had people wondering if Hannity’s own legal notions came from TV shows:
Hannity handing Cohen $10 and asking for attorney-client privilege is LITERALLY an episode of Breaking Bad.
— Chris Smallwood (@smallywood) April 17, 2018
Holy shit, Jake tapper just said that he heard on Hannity’s show that he would give Cohen $10 so have attorney client privilege. That’s literally a Saul Goodman scene from Breaking Bad
— Live, Laugh, Lose (@demeatloaf) April 16, 2018
Sean Hannity clearly a Breaking Bad fan, as this is exactly what happened in one of this first episodes Saul was introduced https://t.co/3VRko5Xku5
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) April 16, 2018
Sean Hannity’s “might have paid him $10.00 for privilege “ is taken right out of Breaking Bad.
— Joe Freni (@JoeFreni) April 16, 2018
Wait. Does Sean Hannity think Breaking Bad was a documentary?
— A. Zem… see, it’s a Hamilton reference. Get it? (@anjyrulz) April 16, 2018
Pretty sure Hannity swiped that “I gave him ten bucks so we have attorney client privilege” from the Breaking Bad episode “Better Call Saul” – the only difference is Saul asked for $1 not $10. #itdoesntworkthatway
— scary lawyerguy (@scarylawyerguy) April 17, 2018