AT&T gave Mueller information on payments to Cohen

"They still haven't told anyone truly what the arrangement was with Michael Cohen, what it was for, why did they hire Michael Cohen to undertake this effort - to this effort and what they haven't said is that there was absolutely no contacts whatsoever or connection between their entity and this oligarch or Russia", Avenatti said Tuesday night on CNN.

The shell company used by President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels received about $500,000 past year from a business linked to a Russian billionaire who is close to President Vladimir Putin, according to the porn star's lawyer. AT&T said Mr. Cohen was one of several consultants it retained at the start of Mr. Trump's term to help it better understand the president's thinking.

Swiss drug giant Novartis says it met with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer only once as part of its $1.2 million payout to his company.

AT&T said in a statement that it had paid Essential Consultants for "insights" into the Trump administration - payments Avenatti's report claims totaled $200,000 in four installments between late 2017 and early 2018.

Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016 to shut her up about her alleged affair with now-president Donald Trump, but new reports show that he may have also pitched himself as a "fixer" to more than just POTUS.

Aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries paid Essential Consultants $150,000 in November 2017.

Included as an exhibit with the letter is an email from Michael Cohen the Canadian to Avenatti noting "surely you are aware of the fact that [Michael Cohen] is an extremely common name and would request that you take care before involving innocent parties in this sordid affair".

It comes a day after Avenatti publicly released a dossier that appears to describe bank records detailing payments to Cohen from corporate clients in the wake of Trump's election.

"The contract ended in December 2017", it said Tuesday.

Essential Consultants was set up by Cohen in October 2016, and soon afterward it paid Daniels $130,000 in a hush-money deal in which she agreed not to discuss an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

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

Boston-based Stat News also reported that then Novartis Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez instructed his team to strike a deal with Cohen.

Columbus Nova, a private equity firm, is a US affiliate of the Renova Group, Vekselberg's Russian conglomerate of energy, telecommunications and other companies.

Cohen entered the public spotlight in 2017 when Buzzfeed published the Russian Federation dossier written by ex-British special agent Christopher Steele. Novartis said Mr. Narasimhan's presence at the dinner had nothing to do with the payments to Mr. Cohen.

The Treasury Department's inspector general, Eric Thorson, announced Wednesday he was launching a probe examining how the banking records became public. Often, they provide information about the inner-workings of an important government office, such as the White House and leadership in Congress. This form of consulting grew dramatically under former President Barack Obama, who imposed regulations barring lobbyists from taking government jobs or entering the White House.

The money received from Columbus Nova appears to entangle Cohen deeper in the Mueller investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the US election.

Mueller's office reportedly stopped and questioned Vekselberg on his way into the United States earlier this year as part of its investigation into Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election. The Kremlin denies meddling in the election. One post said that "despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake)".

  • Rogelio Becker