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AT&T: We gave information to Mueller regarding payments to Trump lawyer
12 May 2018, 08:16 | Erma Lawrence
AT&T confirms it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's company
Daniels says Cohen paid her in 2016 just before Election Day for an agreement in which she would not talk about the sexual encounter she says she had with Trump a decade earlier. A full-year contract for $50,000 per month would total $600,000.
That shell company, Essential Consultants, was the same entity Cohen used to issue a $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels in 2016 in exchange for her silence on an alleged extramarital affair she claims she had with Trump a decade earlier. "The details of when Mr. Cohen was paid by these business clients - whose names had not previously been made public - have no relation to the litigation in which he represents [Daniels] or any purported reasons he may have to appear before this court".
Joe Scarborough came to the defense of Stormy Daniels's attorney Michael Avenatti during Morning Joe on Friday, telling a guest on his show that the lawyer's myriad media appearances may actually be helping his case.
"If Mr. Ryan/Mr. Cohen dispute the receipt of almost $2MM from Columbus Nova, Korea Aero, Novartis or ATT (as opposed to insignificant amounts), they should state it NOW".
Novartis said Wednesday it realized from its first meeting with Mr. Cohen in March 2017 that he wouldn't be helpful and stopped engaging with him.
According to the Washington Post, it remains unclear what insight former taxi cab operator and real estate attorney could have offered or provided to AT&T.
What's worse, Cohen's attorneys say, Avenatti appears to have some of Cohen's actual financial records and made sensitive information available to the public - including Cohen's dealings with clients like AT&T and Novartis.
The Justice Department is seeking to block AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner on the grounds that it would stifle competition.
Novartis additionally said from the statement it had been contacted by specific counsel Robert Mueller's off ice at November 20 17 regarding the agreement.
A source close to AT&T said the contract between Cohen and AT&T specifically stated that the work was not to include lobbying.
The antitrust trial ended last month, and a ruling is expected by June 12. Avenatti also said that among the entities that paid Cohen through Essential Consultants was a company owned by the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. The same documents show Cohen was supposed to spend half of his time on "regulatory policy development", and the other half on "legislative policy development".
Among the many funds have been $1.2 million from a subsidiary of the Switzerland-based healthcare large Novartis. Two others, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, wrote a letter to antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, asking if the Justice Department knew of AT&T's payments to Cohen or any attempts to influence the merger's outcome.
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