The consulting firm that President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, allegedly used to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about having sex with the president, received payments from several prominent multinational corporations.
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Cohen created his firm, Essential Consultants LLC, in October 2016, one month before the presidential election, according to Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
Documents supplied by his firm, Avenatti & Associates, show Cohen retained exclusive control and ownership over the firm at all times.
More than $4.4 million worth of transactions were processed by the firm starting shortly before the election and continuing through this past January, according to documents supplied by Avenatti & Associates, his law firm.
Avenatti refused to disclose on Wednesday how he obtained the financial documents regarding payments made to Cohen's company, but the U.S. Treasury is looking into allegations that the information was improperly disseminated.
Here are the companies, listed in Avenatti documents, that gave money to Essential Consultants, run by a man with virtual daily access to the U.S. president.
American telecommunications giant AT&T paid Essential Consultants LLC $200,000 in four separate installments of $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018.
In a statement to FOX Business, AT&T said it retained the services of Cohen’s firm to help it better understand the new administration soon after the election.
“Essential Consultants 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,” a spokesperson for the company said.
Cohen has said publicly that his only clients have been the president, Fox News’ Sean Hannity and venture capitalist Elliott Broidy. The latter also paid Essential Consultants.
AT&T’s payments come at the same time the company is seeking regulatory approval for a merger with Time Warner.
Shortly after the election, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis confirmed it entered into a one year agreement with Essential Consultants, paying Cohen's firm $100,000 per month. In total, Novartis paid $1.2 million.
In a statement, the company said it entered into the agreement to focus on health care policy. It terminated the deal after determining in a meeting with Cohen that his firm would not be able to provide the services Novartis sought.
Novartis also made a point to mention that it retained the services of the firm before Vasant Narasimhan, the company’s current CEO, took over in February.
Novartis has been contacted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of his investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Korea Aerospace Industries
South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries paid Cohen’s firm $150,000 in November 2017.
In a statement to Reuters, the company said it paid the cash for consulting services on accounting matters.
Korea Aerospace, which is supported by the state-owned Export-Import Bank of Korea, made these payments at the same time as it competed to sell jets to the U.S. Air Force. That deal could be worth as much as $16 billion.
Last year, Cohen’s firm received payments of $500,000 from Columbus Nova, a New York investment firm with ties to Viktor Vekselberg – a Russian oligarch. The payments were received in eight installments from January to August 2017.
The firm told The New York Times the transaction was for a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Vekselberg.
The Russian oligarch has been questioned by Mueller as part of the investigation into interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Columbus Nova did not return FOX Business’ request for comment by the time of publication.