Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing the president to formally void a non-disclosure agreement she signed shortly before the 2016 election that was meant to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier.
Speaking with the Daily Beast, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels mocked the disorganized manner in which the Trump White House - and by extension President Donald Trump's lawyers - have responded to his nearly daily bombshells. The Washington team had hired Cohen under a one-year contract that paid $50,000 a month.
Trump also denies there was any collusion between his campaign and Russia's active measures against the 2016 presidential race.
AT&T forced out the head of its Washington office Friday, while its CEO issued a statement acknowledging that hiring Cohen - who was long known as Trump's "fixer" in NY - was "a big mistake". Unless some of the funds paid to Essential Consultants made their way back to Trump (a not wholly implausible scenario), Cohen's lobbying career was likely aboveboard. Novartis officials soon determined Mr. Cohen would not be able to deliver on his promises, though they were unable to end the contract.
"If Mr. Ryan/Mr. Cohen dispute the receipt of almost $2MM from Columbus Nova, Korea Aero, Novartis or ATT (as opposed to insignificant amounts), they should state it NOW".
Both AT&T and Novartis said that special counsel Robert Mueller's office contacted them a year ago. The payments were approved by two executives in AT&T's public affairs office, headquartered in Washington. Mr. Avenatti has published information from these records, such as the identities of and payments made by Mr. Cohen's business clients, such as AT&T and Novartis. Ex.
The judge is expected to issue his ruling on the Justice Department's lawsuit on June 12.
Novartis admitted it made a costly mistake in making payments totaling almost $1.2 million to Cohen's firm. Avenatti also said that among the entities that paid Cohen through Essential Consultants was a company owned by the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.
Three months later, he had become a policy wonk with such penetrating insight into antitrust law, the American health-care system, corporate taxation, "accounting standards on production costs", and "legislative policy development", multinational companies were willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to lease his expertise.
"In hindsight, this must be seen as a mistake", Novartis spokesman Michael Willi told Reuters, making sure to note that the arrangement was struck under former CEO Jimenez and in no way connected to new CEO Vas Narasimhan.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, the top Democrats on antitrust subcommittees, wrote to the Department of Justice on Wednesday urging investigation of the payments, including whether there were efforts to influence the department. Avenatti declined to reveal his source, but told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night that "people want to help our cause, people contact us with information".