THEIR VIEW: Be wary of surprises

Published on Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:57
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The Guardian has published a new investigation into Sean Hannity’s real estate holdings. As it turns out, Hannity was not above using government money to help finance his investments, purchasing two apartment buildings in Georgia with the help of a federal Housing and Urban Development mortgage loan program.

Illegal? Of course not! There’s nothing wrong with using a government program when purchasing real estate.

Embarrassing? Yes, especially since Hannity interviewed HUD Secretary Ben Carson on his Fox News program without mentioning a potential conflict of interest, a journalism no-no. Just to be clear, Hannity, if he’s using HUD money to help finance his real estate purchases, has a reason to be extra nice to Carson, the head of HUD. And Hannity was nice to Carson, “praising” him, as the Guardian put it.

The Hannity expose matters beyond what it tells us about Fox’s most popular on-air personality. It also demonstrates the ongoing danger the investigation into Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen continues to pose for the president - and will continue to pose.

We would not know much about this matter at all if it wasn’t for the hearing about the FBI raid on Cohen’s office earlier this month.

Just to be clear: It doesn’t appear Cohen had much to do with the Hannity’s real estate investments. Those are handled by a lawyer named Christopher Reeves. But once Hannity’s name came up in Cohen’s legal case, people got interested in those real estate investments.

Business by its very nature can sometimes be embarrassing. There is not a person out there would be thrilled to discover that the FBI raided their lawyer’s office.

But as the Hannity story shows, the longer investigations go on into the businesses owned by Trump and his associates, the more stuff will be revealed that no one is expecting to hear. Unexpected things have a way of surfacing when court filings are made, when people are testifying under oath or when desperate people are frantic to avoid or minimize prison time.

The Plum Line blog

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:57. Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2018 20:00.