AT&T Confirms Payments to Trump Lawyer's Shell Company

Dom Smith  STAT

Dom Smith STAT

The Trump administration opposes the putative merger.

And as it turned out, AT&T's relationship with the fledgling administration went deeper.

"Mr Cohen inexplicably accepted these payments while he was the personal attorney to the president", the document said. At the time, Jimenez said he wanted to discuss pricing models with Trump, as well as the rollback of Obamacare. "With the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain United States healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act".

"AT&T is sketchy as hell", Fight for the Future, one of the groups leading Wednesday's "red alert" day of action to save net neutrality, wrote in a Medium post late Wednesday.

Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti grabbed the news cycle by the horns on Tuesday with the release of an "executive summary" (the source of which remains unknown).

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer working for adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump, said on May 8 via Twitter that drugmaker Novartis was also among companies that had made payments to Cohen.

"In February 2017, Novartis entered into a one-year agreement with Essential Consultants shortly after the election of President Trump", and the deal was "focused on US health-care policy matters", Novartis said in a statement, according to MarketWatch. "They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017". But Trump's new lawyer Rudy Giuliani has blown up that narrative in the past week when claiming that the president was not only aware of it but reimbursed Cohen for it.

The acknowledgment pulls the carrier into a rapidly unfolding legal saga involving the president, his lawyer and alleged ties to Russian Federation.

"Novartis was contacted in November 2017 by lawyers from the special counsel's office regarding the company's agreement with Essential Consultants", Mirza-Reid said.

This payment was one among many that passed through Cohen. The company made four payments totaling almost $400,000 between November and January, according to Avenatti's document.

Avenatti first tweeted about the payment, linking to a document including details about the transaction.

The payment was entirely unrelated to his campaign, Trump added.

But AT&T and Time Warner weren't competitors, so Stephenson assumed it wouldn't be opposed on antitrust grounds. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller's office, declined to comment. Each has important business considerations with the USA government.

Meanwhile, other firms also have transferred funds to Cohen's firm, according to Avenatti's summary. Essential Consultants paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016. Korea Aerospace reportedly paid $150,000 in November.

But Novartis stressed on Wednesday that the company's contract with Cohen predated Narasimhan, and said he had "no involvement whatsoever" in the arrangement.

-With assistance from Bill Allison, Kyunghee Park, David McLaughlin and Erik Larson.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, the same office now probing Cohen, sued a unit of Novartis in 2013, alleging a kickback scheme in which doctors were allegedly plied with expensive meals and alcohol in exchange for writing prescriptions for Novartis drugs.

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