Hiring Michael Cohen 'Was A Big Mistake'

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Then-candidate Donald Trump had spent more than 30 minutes shouting his greatest campaign-trail hits to an adoring Pennsylvania audience, running through a setlist of slams against Hillary Clinton, "stupid" establishment lawmakers and of course, the "fake news media". "Certainly the president has not been influenced by any, or his administration influenced by, any outside special interests".

She has requested a copy of the contract between Novartis and Essential Consultants, a list of meetings and calls that took place between the two entities, contact with Trump administration officials in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, and any other information about other contracts or payments over $1 million with consultants "to gain access to and insight into the White House or Department of Health and Human Services".

"Everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate, " Stephenson wrote.

In the same memo, it is revealed that Bob Quinn, Senior Executive Vice President of the External & Legislative Affairs (read: lobbying) group, is retiring amid the scandal.

Stephenson said he took responsibility for the Washington team's failure to vet Cohen. "AT&T has a lucrative business merger being blocked by Trump's Department of Justice".

At least some of those payments were made to the same shell company that Cohen used to pay $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of a deal to block her from discussing an alleged affair with Trump.

Cohen's payments from companies while acting as a personal lawyer to the president may raise legal issues besides whether the consulting work constituted lobbying.

Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City who recently joined Trump's personal legal team, said he represents Trump, not Cohen, but nevertheless believes Cohen did nothing wrong, HuffPost reported. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment.

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Cohen is also under investigation by prosecutors in NY for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

An attorney for Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to AT&T, Avenatti's document revealed details of payments to Cohen's LLC from Korea Aerospace Industries, the global health care firm Novartis AG, and Columbus Nova, a NY investment firm run by Andrew Intrater, a cousin of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Bennett said in a brief interview that he never spoke or dealt with AT&T, though he said a former Avenue Strategies employee may have spoken with them. Both companies said they cooperated fully and consider the matters closed, but that hasn't stopped Avenatti.

"What's unfortunate is the company and the individual who was retained because Michael Cohen is in trouble", Cohen said.

It was unclear if Giuliani misspoke, but his comment on its face would validate an argument that AT&T-Time Warner tried to advance before a recent six-week antitrust trial - that they were singled out for antitrust enforcement by the Justice Department because Trump didn't want it. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that the "elephant in the room" in the Justice Department's lawsuit is Trump's influence. He was given a one-year contract at US$50,000 per month, which ran from January through December 2017, that was limited to consulting and advisory services.

AT&T was one of multiple companies Cohen approached after the election.

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