Cohen episode humbles AT&T's vaunted Washington lobbying corps

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

Around the time that telecom giant AT&T hired Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, it was shopping around for other Trump allies who could bring them closer to the new administration, The Daily Beast has learned.

Michael Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, never discussed with the president the consulting fees he received from corporate clients, Rudy Giuliani said Friday.

The former New York City mayor, who is part of the outside legal team representing Trump in the Russian election meddling investigation, said he asked Trump about one of Cohen's clients, a firm with ties to a Russian oligarch, the day the story broke.

Following Trump's election, corporations have paid Cohen at least $2.95 million through Essential Consultants, the Post reported, citing figures confirmed by the companies. The drug company said it realized from its first meeting with Mr. Cohen in March 2017 that he wouldn't be helpful and stopped engaging with him.

"The conversation focused on how AT&T can work with the Trump administration to increase investment in the USA, stimulate job creation in America, and make American companies more competitive globally", the company said.

Stephenson insisted in his memo that "everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate" and that Cohen did not do any lobbying on behalf of AT&T. It was through Essentials Consulting that AT&T retained Cohen.

The company needed government approval for its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. and knew little about the new president, who had criticized the deal on the campaign trail.

"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. Previously, he led AT&T's work before the Federal Communications Commission as the company's senior vice president for regulatory affairs.

He was correct. previous year his administration sued to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner.

Valtteri Bottas content with mixed Friday in Spain
If you win here, you have a good cushion for the next couple of races so for me it's important both Mercedes are there. We are back in a part of the world where Formula One has real traction and relevance. "So that's a positive thing".

"Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to USA healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further", the statement said.

And if anything, AT&T now regrets its decision to ever contract Cohen.

AT&T's vast lobbying team, which includes more than 100 people, and public policy staff will now report to the company's general counsel, David McAtee. Novartis said it had cooperated fully and considers its role in the matter closed.

Novartis said this week that it had provided information about its dealings with Cohen to the special counsel.

No. Cohen isn't an employee of the US Government and therefore not bound by the pledge, which restricts influence peddling to those coming into or leaving the Trump Administration.

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

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, wrote in a court filing earlier this week that Avenatti has "no lawful basis to possess" the records and asked a judge to require Avenatti to explain how he came to possess and release them.

The Associated Press contributed to this record.

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