Novartis Paid More than $1 Million to Firm Linked to Trump Lawyer

10 May, 2018, 06:39 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Bloomberg’s Michael Mc Laughlin reports on AT&T describing hiring Cohen as a

Alas, as Novartis explained in its official statement on the matter Wednesday, the drug company got much less than it had bargained for: After a single meeting with Trump's attorney, "Novartis 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".

"Novartis considers this matter closed as to itself and is not aware of any outstanding questions regarding the agreement", it said in the statement.

New documents show that a shell company set up by Michael Cohen, President Trump's fixer, was used not just to pay off a pornography star and an impregnated Playboy model, but, far worse, to enrich Trump and his fixer in exchange for access to the president and the USA government.

It said Narasimhan, a Harvard-trained doctor who has vowed to burnish Novartis's reputation as a maker of innovative drugs and leave years of allegations of wrongdoing behind, "had no involvement whatsoever" in the Cohen contract.

On Wednesday, Korea Aerospace Industries said it paid for accounting-related services, while Novartis cited healthcare consulting.

"As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018". The source also said the payments were for "actual work done", adding: "And it wasn't to pay for access to the president". But it's hard not to jump to the most straightforward conclusion: Cohen's one and seemingly only "asset" to offer Novartis was the President's receptive ear.

Avenatti declined to comment on the probe, and Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Zainal Kassim, who represents Actuarial Partners, told The Daily Caller that Avenatti also got another case wrong. "I mean, he had to be receiving the money for something".

AT&T says it paid President Donald Trump's personal lawyer beginning in early 2017 to consult on how Trump might approach a range of policy issues, including antitrust enforcement.

It alleged that the funds "may have replenished the account following the payment to Ms Clifford".

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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.

"Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else, other than Columbus Nova's owners, were involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement", he said.

AT&T is trying to seal its $85B acquisition of Time Warner, a deal opposed by the Trump Administration.

"Essential Consultants was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration", AT&T said in a statement. It also denied that Essential did any legal or lobbying work for the company.

Novartis Investments acknowledged making four payments of $99,980 each to Essential Consultants.

Novartis paid him $1.2 million for that access, Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the company, told ABC.

"When we were contacted by the Special Counsel's office regarding Michael Cohen, we cooperated fully, providing all information requested in November and December of 2017", the company said in a statement.

"Suggestions to the contrary clearly misrepresent the facts and can only be meant to further personal or political agendas as to which Novartis should not be a part", the company said, adding that it considers the matter "closed".

Clifford was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about the alleged affair with Trump.


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