AT&T deal with Cohen specified providing advice on Time Warner merger

AT&T deal with Cohen specified providing advice on Time Warner merger

Earlier on Friday evening, Trump tweeted about the merger, calling the reporting on the Cohen affair a "disgrace" because it has not mentioned that the DOJ has sued to block the deal.

In fact, AT&T says it's done exactly that with previous administrations too. He was not working for Trump at the time the Justice Department was reviewing the deal.

AT&T forced out the head of its Washington office Friday, while its CEO issued a statement acknowledging that hiring Cohen - who was long known as Trump's "fixer" in NY - was "a big mistake".

It was unclear what insights Cohen, a longtime real estate attorney, would have been able to offer AT&T on a complicated telecommunications-entertainment merger, the Post reported. AT&T said Cohen and others were hired to help navigate "a wide range of issues", including its proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc, AT&T said in the memo seen by Reuters.

In the wake of Trump's election, corporate clients paid Cohen at least $2.95 million through a company called Essential Consultants, according to figures confirmed by the companies.

Cohen had reached out to AT&T even before Stephenson's huddle with the president, the person said. "This is actually the definition of 'draining the swamp, '" she said, directing further questions to the president's outside counsel. "They didn't get the result they wanted", said Giuliani, Trump's lawyer.

The brand new details about Cohen's enterprise ventures comes simply weeks after Federal Bureau of Investigation brokers raided his residence, workplace and lodge room, seizing monetary information and his digital gadgets. Last year, AT&T spent almost $17 million on federal lobbying, the third highest among companies.

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

The internal AT&T documents show that Cohen was supposed to spend half his time on legislative policy development and the other half on regulatory policy development.

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The company says Cohen approached them following the 2016 election.

Though as he noted, he was never a registered lobbyist for AT&T. "Quinn stepping down is not going to cripple AT&T", said Feld.

"It is an ethical concern if you have a lawyer who appears to be selling access to a current client, who is president", Noble said.

AT&T has declined to comment on the specific amount it paid to Essential Consultants.

"Companies often hire consultants for these purposes, especially at the beginning of a new presidential administration, and we have done so in previous administrations, as well", the company said in the email.

"Following this preliminary assembly, Novartis decided that Michael Cohen and Important Consultants can be unable to supply the companies that Novartis had anticipated related to United States healthcare coverage issues and the choice was taken to not interact additional", the assertion mentioned.

At the time the contract was signed, AT&T was trying to build ties to the new administration.

On the day AT&T announced its bid to buy Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, then-candidate Trump said he opposed the deal.

Following Avenatti's launch of data on Tuesday, AT&T and Novartis every revealed that the businesses had been contacted by Particular Counsel Robert Mueller's workplace in late 2017 about their respective preparations with Cohen.

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