nsucurrent.com May 24, 2018

AT&T: Hiring Trump attorney Cohen was 'big mistake'

13 May 2018, 12:50 | Ruby West

AT&T Chief Calls Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a 'Big Mistake'

AT&T Executive Who Oversaw Michael Cohen's Contract Forced Out

Payments that AT&T (NYSE:T) made to President Trump's personal lawyer aren't likely to have any bearing on the judge's decision in a landmark antitrust trial, Cowen says.

When AT&T swung its deal with Cohen, the merger was very much an issue in Washington.

Cohen allegedly received $600,000 from AT&T, $1.2 million from Swiss drug maker Novartis, $150,000 from South Korean airline agency Korea Aerospace sectors and $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment business linked to a Russian oligarch.

The payment to Clifford was the first known activity involving Essential Consultants, a shell company incorporated in DE by Cohen.

"Let this serve as formal notice - there is significantly more evidence and facts to come relating to Mr. Cohen's dealings and Mr. Trump's knowledge and involvement", Avenatti said on Twitter Friday.

"If the decision goes against AT&T, if this merger is blocked, then we may see some other heads roll at AT&T... including the chairman", he said.

"For anything beyond that I would direct you to the president's outside counsel".

The letter said that while the deal with Cohen was "done according to the law" and was "entirely legitimate", the association with Cohen was "a serious misjudgment". Paul S. Ryan of Common Cause said Cohen had plenty of wiggle room to help his corporate clients, which included AT&T and pharmaceutical giant Novartis, without running afoul of lobbying rules.

"As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few", Trump said during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in October 2016.

"There is certainly plenty AT&T would like to get out of the Trump administration", noted the far-left media outlet Vox, adding that AT&T is now attempting to get a $85 billion merger with Time Warner approved through the Trump administration.

Companies often hire consultants to explain the federal bureaucracy to them.

According to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to describe ongoing litigation, Delrahim was not aware of AT&T's payments to Cohen. "Here's what needs to happen: Cohen must apologize, pay back his swamp fees and tell us who else he pitched his services to". He appears to have worked as Trump's personal lawyer while at the same time accepting tens of thousands of dollars from third parties to disclose information about his client.

On Friday, Mr. Stephenson told staff the company's general counsel, David McAtee, will take over the company's Washington operations.

AT&T noted in the fact sheet that Cohen was among "several consultants" the company hired as Trump was assuming the presidency.

Novartis said this week it had also spoken with Mueller's team about the payments to Cohen.

"I think this further proves that the president is not going to be influenced by special interests", Sanders said.

Rudy Giuliani has apparently again contradicted the Trump administration with his public statements.

Leon is expected to deliver an opinion on the case by June 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this record.

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