Cohen accuses Stormy Daniels' lawyer of circulating false information

10 May 2018, 06:40 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York

Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York

Novartis a year ago paid a firm controlled by Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, $100,000 a month for what the Swiss drug maker said was advice on "health care policy matters". But he says the contract couldn't be terminated, so Novartis kept paying Cohen's company, Essential Consultants, for a full year.

Healthcare giant Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million in a year.


"At all times, Cohen maintained his independence, was not an employee of the firm, and did not maintain files or bill clients through the firm", Squire Patton Boggs spokesman Angelo Kakolyris told The Hill.

"I'm not going to get into how we got the information", Avenatti said on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

The New York Times says it was able to confirm much of Avenatti's information by reviewing Cohen's financial records. Shortly after the tweets, both The New York Times and NBC news confirmed Avenatti's story.

The payments came to light Tuesday after Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress who said she had an affair with Trump, released a document that contained details of the financial transactions.

The probe was prompted by a tip from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but the authorities have not said what wrongdoing Cohen is suspected to have committed. In a statement the company says it "cooperated fully with the Special Counsel's office and provided all the information requested", according to Newsweek. Attorneys representing Cohen criticized the document in a court filing, claiming Avenatti has published "numerous incorrect statements regarding Mr. Cohen" and that some of Cohen's records may have been obtained illegally.

Separately, in a statement Wednesday evening provided to CBS News, AT&T confirmed it had been in contact with Mueller.

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After significant investigation, we have discovered that Mr. Trump's atty Mr. Cohen received approximately $500,000 in the mos. after the election from a company controlled by a Russian Oligarc with close ties to Mr. Putin.

A&T said Mr Cohen had been hired for "insight into understanding the new administration".

In early 2017, as President Trump was taking office, we hired several consultants to help us understand how the President and his administration might approach a wide range of policy issues important to the company, including regulatory reform at the FCC, corporate tax reform and antitrust enforcement. The Washington Post first reported the investigation.

The payments to Mr Cohen's firm - Essential Consultants LLC - were revealed by attorney Michael Avenatti.

Just a few weeks earlier Trump attacked Big Pharma for "getting away with murder" in his first news conference as president-elect, causing industry stock prices to dip.

Larry Noble, senior director of the Campaign Legal Center, said there's nothing technically wrong with companies like Novartis and AT&T hiring people like Cohen to provide insight into the president's thinking.

Mr Vekselberg is among a handful of Russians to have been sanctioned by the United States over the Kremlin's election meddling, the subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

While Narasimhan was among business leaders who dined with Trump in Davos at the World Economic Forum in January, Novartis said that had nothing to do with its contract with Cohen. "Novartis considers this matter closed", it said.

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