Giuliani says Trump was 'unaware' of lawyer Cohen's consulting income

Thursday, 10 May, 2018

In March 2017, Novartis had its first meeting with Cohen under this agreement, the source says. But it continued paying the firm to comply with terms of the contract until it expired in February of this year, according to Novartis.

Avenatti has repeatedly declined to reveal how he obtained the Essential Consulting banking information.

A source close to the company tells me that, "with the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain USA healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act".

Cohen, Trump's attorney and fixer for the past decade, is under criminal investigation in NY and his home and office were raided by the FBI last month.

Clifford was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about the alleged affair with Trump. Specifically, Cohen said he could offer advice on how to gain access to members of the incoming administration. Michael Avenatti, who is representing a woman suing the president, has claimed that Vekselberg controls Columbus Nova, but the company has denied this.

MORE's personal attorney, says it has no knowledge of the controversial payments that he received from corporate clients through a shell company. Other companies that hired Essential Consultants were a subsidiary of drug-maker Novartis, and Columbus Nova, a USA company with ties to a Russian oligarch.

Among the more outrageous payments to the shell company were AT&T payments of up to $200,000, also between October 2017 and January 2018.

CNN reviewed documents that appear to show those payments. But on Twitter, Avenatti challenged reporters to seek out the suspicious activity reports collected by the Treasury Department.

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Cohen is reportedly under investigation for potential campaign finance violations and bank fraud, among other things. The New York Times on May 5 ran an extensive feature on Cohen's "shadowy business empire" and his alleged ties with Russian mobsters.

AT&T is also fighting the Federal Trade Commission in court over allegations that the company throttled data for online consumers who used over a certain amount, even after the company's data plan was advertised as "unlimited". "Novartis cooperated fully with the Special Counsel's office and provided all the information requested", a Novartis spokeswoman said in a statement.

Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical firm; Korea Aerospace Industries, a South Korean defense contractor; and AT&T, the massive United States telecom, all paid Cohen-linked Essential Consulting more than $150,000.

In an initial statement on Tuesday, AT&T said in a statement that Essential Consultants "was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration".

The firm gave a similar statement to HuffPost, which first reported the distancing of the firm from Cohen.

Avenatti did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the stories about Russian Federation and President Donald Trump, things are nearly always even more freaky than they first appear.

AT&T hired Cohen when it was looking for a way to understand the new administration after seeing him on television doing interviews to advocate for Trump, the source said. Mueller is examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Contrary to recent media reports, says the insider, "this agreement was also in no way related to the to the group dinner Dr. Narasimhan had at the World Economic Forum in Davos with President Trump and 15 Europe based industry leaders". "Novartis considers this matter closed", it said.