Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

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

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

It was later revealed that it paid Cohen $600,000 for strategic advice on its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, which Trump has opposed. Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump and Cohen, first revealed AT&T's payments to Cohen. "But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment".

AT&T is one of several companies that paid Cohen, along with the pharmaceutical giant Novartis and Korea Aerospace Industries.

AT&T's board of directors does not hold Stephenson responsible for the lack of vetting, according to a source familiar with the situation. The funds were sent to the bank account of the front company Essential Consultants, which Cohen created before the election and used to transfer money to Daniels in January-August a year ago.

Among other things, Cohen told the bank his company was in the real estate and investment consulting business, the report said. Quinn accompanied Stephenson to meet with the president-elect at Trump Tower in January 2017 - 11 days before AT&T hired Cohen.

Avenatti's disclosures Tuesday about the money purportedly given to Cohen's shell company, Essential Consultants, by Columbus Nova and other corporations, including some with business before the Trump administration, delivered a jolt to a news cycle as questions continue to swirl about whether the work that Cohen did on behalf of Trump complied with federal and state laws. "David's number one priority is to ensure every one of the individuals and firms we use in the political arena are people who share our high standards and who we would be proud to have associated with AT&T", he said.

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The CEO of AT&T on Friday told his employees that the company made a "big mistake" by hiring Michael Cohen to get insider insight into the Trump administration - a decision said to have cost a top exec his job.

Cohen, the subject of a criminal investigation by prosecutors in NY, has acknowledged paying $130,000 to the adult film star actress Stormy Daniels before the election to buy her silence about an alleged relationship with Trump in 2006. But the judge overseeing the case blocked AT&T and Time Warner's request for discovery on communication logs between the Justice Department and the White House, and the companies ultimately dropped the defense. "You know, he's not influenced by the kinds of things that you're referencing".

Shah noted that Trump signed an executive order barring former administration officials from lobbying.

Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc T.N , which paid President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen at least $200,000, said on Wednesday it had cooperated fully with the special counsel in the Russian Federation probe. The distinction could be important if Cohen's activities become the focus of a criminal investigation.

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