Novartis calls $1.2 mln deal with Trump lawyer's firm a 'mistake'

Clay Curtis
May 11, 2018

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, is a fixture on CNN and also appears to be weaponized by someone to fight battles against Trump on a broader scale with the Stormy Daniels dispute the excuse, not the reason, Avenatti is involved.

Novartis has confirmed this saying in a statement that it had entered a one-year agreement of $100,000 per month with Cohen's firm, Essential Consultants in February 2017, shortly after Trump took office.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that AT&T paid more than $200,000 to Cohen's company. "The mere fact of Cohen's get payments from [these companies] sounds a lot like lobbying - and if that's the case he should have filed [the proper] disclosures", Holman added.

Initially, Michael Cohen meant to pay Stephanie Clifford, professionally known as Stormy Daniels, through another DE entity - Resolution Consultants LLC.

Cohen's attorneys refer in their court filing Wednesday to the public denial by Columbus Nova.

The memo said Cohen did no legal or lobbying work for the company and that the contract ended in December 2017.

Giuliani said that Cohen paid Daniels, and that Trump repaid his lawyer via retainer.

Avenatti has commanded wall-to-wall media coverage for his client Daniels, who sued Cohen and Trump in California before a federal judge halted that lawsuit. And there are some interesting people doing business with Michael Cohen.

The U.S. Treasury Department's inspector general's office said on Wednesday it opened an investigation into whether confidential banking records involving Cohen may have been leaked.

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Under federal law, financial institutions must monitor their customers' activities and report suspicious transactions to the government.

AT&T said in a statement that Essential Consultants was one of several firms it "engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration".

Avenatti did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apart from these companies, Cohen's firm also received money from a troubling source, Columbus Nova, a NY investment firm with close ties to billionaire Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Still, anyone with a working moral compass and a modicum of foresight probably wouldn't put any money into a secret shell company run by the president's weird personal attorney and taxicab baron, who also happens to be a deputy chairman of the Republican Party's finance committee and part of the permanent cast of The Real World: Russian Campaign Collusion.

According to The Post, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, sought information last November about the connection between Novartis and Essential Consultants.

Novartis admitted it made a costly mistake in making payments totaling almost $1.2 million to Cohen's firm.

A lawyer for Columbus Nova has said Russian businessman Vekselberg had nothing to do with the transaction, which Avenatti said amounted to $500,000.

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