- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

One of America’s biggest companies confirmed Tuesday evening that it had paid a company owned by President Trump’s personal lawyer in 2017.

In a statement to CNBC and other news outlets, AT&T said it paid Essential Consulting LLC, which was wholly owned by Michael Cohen, as an entry into dealing with the Trump administration.

Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017,” AT&T said.

Although AT&T did not say how much it had paid Mr. Cohen for his “insights” on the Trump administration, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels said earlier Tuesday that the amount was $200,000.

Michael Avenatti released a report on Mr. Cohen’s finances, saying he received that amount from AT&T, a half-million from a Russian oligarch now under U.S. sanction, $400,000 from drug giant Novartis, and $150,000 from Korea Aerospace.

Those other two companies did not confirm the payments, but the money from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg has reportedly been the object of questioning from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Avenatti notes that those payments all came in the months after Mr. Cohen paid $130,000 to his adult-film client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

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