Giuliani On Cohen's Biz Pitches: Trump 'Wasn't Aware Of That Situation'
11 May, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Kristen Ingram
It seems as if there is no end to Michael Cohen's woes as it has now emerged he sold access to President Donald Trump, in an attempt to roll in cash for his shell company. Documents linked to by STAT show that a unit of the drug firm called Novartis Investment SARL made about four payments of almost $100,000 each to Essential Consultants on October 5, 2017, November 3, 2017, December 1, 2017, and January 5, 2018, totaling almost $400,000.
The Avenatti memo alleges the company paid Cohen $399,920 in late 2017 and early 2018 in four payments - each amounting to $99,980. Jimenez also met the president after he took office at a January 31, 2017 meeting in the White House. This story is full of gaping holes, not least of which is the question of why a super-rich guy like Broidy who has used some of the country's most elite lawyers would turn to a schlub like Cohen to resolve this sensitive situation. What unique "insights" did AT&T expect to get from Cohen?
Cohen has told associates that Avenatti's claims are overheated, and he has maintained that he has not done anything wrong, according to a person familiar with the attorney's views but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. Cohen did no legal or lobbying work, AT&T said, and an unnamed source told CNBC that AT&T was not paying for access to the president.
However, Mr. Cohen never used Resolution Consultants.
As part of his crusade against Trump via Cohen, Avenatti is seeking to enter an appearance "pro hac vice" as counsel for Stormy Daniels in the court case in the SDNY involving the search warrants executed on Cohen's law office and home. Called Columbus Nova, Vekselberg's firm paid $500,000 to Cohen's DE entity, which, as it had turned out, was used for hush money payments, including the payment made to Stormy Daniels. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions must monitor their customers' activities and report suspicious transactions to the government.
If Trump had some kind of legal exposure, Giuliani said, Russian Federation special counsel Robert Mueller would not have passed on the information to federal prosecutors in NY who are investigating Cohen's business dealings. But that information is supposed to remain confidential.
Among the previously unreported transactions were payments past year totaling about $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm in NY whose biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian oligarch.
Avenatti did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Trump Administration is not exactly a complex organization.
But Novartis said that following a meeting in March 2017 it "determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to United States healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further". Reuters, however, reports that payments were made monthly from February 2017 to February 2018, bringing the total closer to $1 million.
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