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Why Did A Military Contractor Pay Trump Lawyer's Hush-Money Account?

Why Did A Military Contractor Pay Trump Lawyer's Hush-Money Account?

Why Did A Military Contractor Pay Trump Lawyer's Hush-Money Account?

"Heads should roll over the AT&T and Novartis payments to Michael Cohen's slush fund", said the headline in the Los Angeles Times.

Avenatti appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe show the day after he claimed that a Russian oligarch, AT&T and others made payments into Cohen's bank account for Essential Consultants, used to pay Daniels $130,000 to keep hush about an affair she alleges she had with Trump. But now, according to a Novartis insider who spoke to CBS News, Cohen approached Jimenez himself soon after Trump was elected, offering advice on gaining access to members of the incoming administration.

If all that has left you reaching for a stiff drink, Stephen Colbert has a useful breakdown of Cohen-a "man who looks like cigarettes smell"-and the embattled Trump fixer's seemingly never-ending scandals". It wasn't just the Russians giving Cohen money after the election, there were U.S. companies paying Cohen too.

The memo said Cohen did no legal or lobbying work for the company and that the contract ended in December 2017.

The curious relationship between one of the world's biggest drug makers and President Trump's personal lawyer began early a year ago when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis's then-chief executive officer Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

The complaint filed by Public Citizen on Thursday comes after Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, this week published what he said were bank transactions showing more than $4.4 million in payments from a number of companies, some foreign and some domestic, to Essential Consultants LLC., a corporation Cohen set up in late 2016.

Essential Consultants was created in October 2016, on the eve of the presidential election.

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Daniels said the money was in exchange for her agreement to not talk to others about a 2006 affair she claims to have had with Trump.

The White House also pushed back against reports that Giuliani's off-message style was causing the president to rethink his appointment, suggesting he remained a key member of the team.

Althoff said Novartis complied with requests for information about the payments from Mueller's investigators in November.

At the time of the payments, there was an FBI counterintelligence investigation, which special counsel Robert Mueller took over last May, into Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Trump associates.

Fox News contributor Byron York expressed skepticism about the importance of Cohen's ties to the oligarch since Robert Mueller's investigators "farmed" it over to the attorneys in the Southern District of NY. Their investigation showed the account used for the payment was linked to Russian Federation.

After Trump's election, corporate money started flowing into Essential Consultants.

Aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries paid Essential Consultants $150,000 in November 2017. In March 2017, Novartis had its first meeting with Michael Cohen under this agreement. But he says the contract couldn't be terminated, so Novartis kept paying Cohen's company, Essential Consultants, for a full year.

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