“I might have handed him ten bucks [and said,] ‘I definitely want your attorney-client privilege on this’ . . . Something like that. I requested that privilege with him when I would ask him: ‘Well, this just came up. What do you think about this? What do you think about that?’”
—Sean Hannity, after being revealed as a secret client of Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen
I might have handed him ten bucks and said, “I definitely want your attorney-client privilege on this.” I might have said, “Well, this just came up. What do you think about this?” It’s a thing I do sometimes. Anyone can do it. A little legal advice, it’s routine stuff, no big deal.
I’m walking down the street, I see someone that looks like a lawyer, I’ll stop them and say, “Are you a lawyer?” And presto, there’s a nice new $10 bill right there in my hand, maybe I’ve already folded it over and tucked it into their breast pocket, pat pat.
Now we’re in business.
Now, they might say, I’m not a lawyer.
They might try to hand it back.
There’s a look some lawyers have when they want to lie about being lawyers. That’s something I can spot from a mile away. Then there’s the ones that say “I am a lawyer but I’m not taking this money.” And I say, “But you’ve already taken it. It’s in your pocket.”
I’ve seen $10 bills, perfectly good tens, get plucked from the pocket.
[Hannity mimes watching a bill spin to the ground, eyes following its erratic path.]
They’re still my lawyer.
They’re my lawyer whether they like it or not.
They took the ten, they’re my lawyer, end of story.
Then it’s go-time. Then it’s off to the races.
Walking side by side, me holding tight to the lawyer’s sleeve, I’m telling the stuff. The real stuff. Stuff you couldn’t tell just anyone. Not secrets, exactly, but more like the kind of stuff you want to be kept secret, if you understand what I’m saying. They aren’t secrets at all. They’re just the things other people want us to keep secret.
Sometimes the world we’re in makes us want to stick our stuff in a coconut and hide it.
Look, I don’t want to split hairs. It’s not exactly secrets, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call it secrets.
But it’s not.
I’m not talking about secrets here.
OK, OK, it is secrets, what do you want?
You need lawyers for your secrets, and the more secrets you have the more lawyers you need, it’s as simple as that.
These days so much happens in a day, it feels like every hour there’s more and more that happens, and how can we possibly tell it all? Maybe that’s why there’s so many secrets.
Maybe that’s what a secret is: The things you don’t have time to tell.
Point is, I think of everything that’s happening in the world every hour and every minute of the day, and I get these bad thoughts in my head.
There are things inside me I’ve just got to tell someone, or I don’t know what’ll happen.
There’s only so much time in a day or an hour, and there’s just so much to tell.
Of course I want attorney-client privilege on it.
Are my secrets bigger than the secrets of your average citizen? Well, who can say. We should all enjoy attorney-client privilege from time to time, that’s what I think. Out of an abundance of caution.
[Hannity mimes the physical act of love.]
Isn’t that the sort of secret your average citizen would have? The point is, when I give one of my lawyers a secret, I mime it. That’s what I call double privilege.
Miming, I don’t need to tell you, miming’s not admissible evidence.
Slow down, there, pal.
This is exactly what I’m talking about.
Come on, buddy, slow down, sometimes we’ve got to make the time.
Are my secrets any bigger than anyone else’s?
Look, a secret’s a secret—a secret’s something everyone can understand.
You look at the time you have left in your life, and you look at all the things you have to tell, and you think: I’ll die before I tell a tenth of it, before I even figure out how to start to tell a single word of it.
You think: My head hurts so bad.
Oh god, it hurts! It really hurts!
[Hannity mimes manually strangling an animal or small human, releasing its throat just before the fatal moment, watching it stumble off.]
See? I double-privilege the secrets. You wouldn’t think I could be walking side by side with my attorney, holding his sleeve while also miming things so well, would you?
[Hannity mimes digging a hole in the ground, dragging a body into the hole and covering it over, tapping the dirt down neatly at the edges.]
You can keep walking faster, but you can’t walk faster than me. You think I can’t keep miming while we’re walking this fast? Think twice, pal. I can mime anything and I can walk as fast as anyone you ever met.
[Hannity mimes mass deportations; Hannity mimes medical bankruptcies.]
What are secrets these days, I’m not sure what all are secrets.
My head, it hurts so bad!
[Hannity mimes Arctic sea ice collapse; Hannity mimes Lockheed engineers updating code for the Tomahawk Weapon Control System; Hannity mimes cops getting their stories straight with their union reps; Hannity mimes Trump looking at the nuclear suitcase like a snack.]
Sometimes I don’t remember what’s a secret, what’s worth my ten bucks of privilege.
I hate to waste the privilege.
Buddy, slow down. Can you just slow down?
That sleeve—you think I’m letting go? People tell me I have the gripping strength of a coconut crab.
Don’t you know that nothing grips like a crab like that?
So we’re here—OK?
[Hannity mimes Hannity pressing a stethoscope to a wall safe and turning the dial.]
And there’s a secret that’s in my head.
[Hannity mimes Hannity opening the door and stealthily removing a VHS tape.]
My head, it feels like it’s too full, like it’s all swelled up.
Ow, ow, my head!
I want to know what you think.
[Hannity mimes surveillance footage from eight separate cameras in the bedroom of the presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow in November 2013, Trump in suit and tie clapping his hands twice smartly to begin the festivities, a pair of dancers entering the bedroom to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Fairy Dance, pissing in time to the music, playful little squirts; and Hannity mimes more dancers entering, spinning and leaping into each other’s arms on the big bed the Obamas once slept on as Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance swells—there’s a full orchestra next door—dancers sending whirling sprays of piss about the gold-wallpapered room, dozens of figures filling the room, serving serious looks to the cameras before leaping into the cross-cutting choreography, balletic and expressionist opening moves giving way to vast and elaborate designs in the Busby Berkeley mode, hundreds of dancers now in kaleidoscopic spirals captured in all their glory by mobile overhead cameras that pan over shifting vaults of scissoring legs, now open, now closed, complex formations of limbs intercutting and recombining, a vast mesh of bodies, a constellation of arms and legs, triumphant arcs of super-soaker-level piss amplified to firehose moves, unheard of bursting pressure, genitals and urethras more diverse in kind and combination than Trump had ever thought possible recreating the great fountains of the world, Versailles, the Fontana di Trevi, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Fountains of Singapore, and then onto Old Faithful and the geysers of Velikan and Strokkur, and now it’s dream fountains and dream geysers, a future writ in piss, gushing with life and change and becoming, signature works of the artists and architects who will one day change their respective forms, all that here tonight, just for Trump, monumental works of aching beauty, form and body alive in the instant of the spray of piss and already dissipating, all of this flesh and spray riven with switchbacks and escapes, hidden doors and mouse holes and fiber-optic snares, all alive, all embodied, all the variations in diet and genetics, in pH and color, everyone everywhere just a machine for shooting or dribbling piss, gender and self slipping away, color and pH slipping away, the piss running together, all of this to reveal the human organism as a pissing machine, a pissing work of art among so many other pissing works of art, the animal life forms our world momentarily sucking some order from the chaos, releasing a brilliant and beautiful creation of piss-work that can only ever exist in that moment, in the instant, already at the instant of its creation yielding to time, the great destroyer, falling into some greater entropic slosh; and Hannity mimes Trump applauding and applauding, face rigid and almost contorted with appreciation, two-thumbs-up, mouth pursed, chin tucked in, torso clenched, so much face, so much happening in the Trump face, twisted almost beyond recognition by the force of all that was happening, how happy it all made him, and then it all sort of let go, the hands fell, the face untwisted itself to a degree, Trump was drifting off to sleep after so much pleasure, head on hand, to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s Arabian Dance, as the dancers slipped out of the room, dozens and hundreds, and soon the last one’s gone, the door closed behind, but the level of piss, somehow, still rises, it rises like the oceans will rise—as we sleep—and it’s lifting Trump’s chair off the ground, little filigrees of the Arabian Dance lulling him, lifting the bed and end table and the suitcases, and he’s snoring and happy and dreaming fat dreams of piss, and in his dream the waves of piss are resolving into ladies, beautiful ladies, the most beautiful ladies in history swirling into themselves and rising out of piss . . .
Trump’s head bumps the ceiling and he realizes what’s happened, or not then, then he’s like What!? but the chair tips and he falls forward and the music cuts out, SPLASH, and Trump’s there at the ceiling, choking and struggling for air, trying to keep all that piss out of his mouth and throat, barely any room left to breathe, pressing his lips up to that last inch or two of air, and the piss sloshing in his throat, a taste not just in his tongue, but a taste in the throat itself, the taste of all that piss, the piss still rising, Trump’s breathing panicked—Ahhhhh! blub blub blub!—and there’s only a millimeter left, now only one last suck of air—Hahhhhhrrrr! blub blub blub!—and Hannity mimes Trump’s understanding—he must dive down now, down into the piss, if he is to save himself; and so he takes the last suck, and dives, and he opens his eyes, just a squint and no more, into the piss, and sees it there, beneath where the bed had been, a huge bathtub-style stopper in the floor, manhole-sized, and he swims down to it, and he pulls on the chain, he yanks with all his strength, but it won’t budge, there’s too much pressure, and he’s running out of air, and the stopper won’t go no matter how hard he braces his feet and yanks the chain at the bottom of a room full of a huge bulk of piss and the pressure of all that piss, he’s struggling with the chain and his arms are shaking and his whole body is, and he can almost see his lungs zeroing out, there’s nothing left in then, he sees that it’s the end, that this is his death, and he can’t stand it, because why should this be his end, here drowned in all this piss, but it is his end, in the Moscow Ritz Carlton, and he heaves up on the chain with all his might, he pulls and he screams, he opens his mouth and roars—ahb gub gub gub gub!—into all that piss, and a fury of bubbles, and it’s a huge movement and lifting and there’s an explosive shift in pressure, the room is all knocked around and in flux, everything, furniture and piss and Trump himself knocked about chaotically, until the piss resolves into a whirlpool in the bedroom, a big slow circle turning around the drain, and Trump is floating on his back, easy as can be, in a slow spiral, feet first, hair an undulating stringy almost transparent mess behind him, his little mouth sucking air in, his hands flapping, then he just lets go, he let’s them go up above his head and just lets himself be carried along, a body slowly spiraling around the drain-hole, and it’s faster and faster he’s spinning, and he’d like to slow it, he pulls his hands down, but it’s blinding speed now, he’s spinning like a lathe, like a screw being power-screwed, he’s sucked down twirling like an Olympic ice skater and . . . SHOOMP! He’s plugged there—just stuck—gut stopping the hole, bottom half down under the floor, head above, piss whirling around him, in that vortex, and then it’s not a vortex anymore, he clamps his mouth shut as it sloshes over his head again, the surface is back to a flat surface quite rapidly, his gut’s stuck in the hole, and he’s shaking his head back and forth and pushing at the floor at his waist, trying to push himself up out of it, bubbles escaping his tightened mouth—then the pressure below pops in reverse and WHAM he’s blasted down the hole, body shot like a bullet feet first down a clear tube that bends and turns, sending him through the Kremlin, the arcade of the GUM department store, and up into each of the onion domes of the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, bureaucrats and night watchmen doing vodka spit-take after vodka spit-take, and he’s further now into a darkness deeper than any he’s ever known, that seems to stretch out infinitely, and in this deep dark he’s flying through there are skulls, ghosts and skulls, yammering and howling, his body flung this way and that, and then the tube is gone, his body’s in free fall, kicked and batted and badly used by the shrieking souls of the dead, his skull bursting with a comet’s tail of flaming hair . . .
And Trump lands with a noise between thwomp and splat, he’s on his ass in sopping wet suit and red tie, it’s morning, it’s dawn, there’s a faint dusting of light, and snow is lightly falling, he’s landed in a Moscow alleyway, among boarded windows and paper waste and discarded bottles, at the feet of a bent old woman who peers down at him, and Trump parts his hair like curtains with his fingers and looks up at the woman in her threadbare scarf and old stained purple coat, this old overweight American man and this old bent Russian woman just looking at one another, and then she raises her hand, as if in benediction, and the camera captures his waiting, that suspension of everything, of all time and meaning, as he looks up for what might be coming from that ancient face, from that open implacable gaze, and there’s a new wetness, he’s crying, Trump, in the alleyway, is crying now like a little baby, human tears washing human piss from his face, he’s weeping like he’s never wept before and never will again . . . and Trump wipes his eyes, and the camera captures the instant of the two faces together, two human souls just taking each other in . . . and she wrinkles her nose, clamps her fingers to her nose, P.U.!, and turns and slowly walks away.]
So what do you think?
I definitely want your attorney-client privilege here.
It’s something that’s come up, and I needed to tell someone.
Don’t try to wrench the sleeve, I’m stronger than you.
I’m so strong, I’m like a coconut crab.
It’s just I’ve got this stuff in my head and I need to know what you think.
You keep the ten. That’s yours. Keep it. Keep it. Those ten bucks are yours. Don’t let’s fight over this, I’m serious. That’s for you.