On AT&T-Time Warner merger, Giuliani again contradicts White Hou

On AT&T-Time Warner merger, Giuliani again contradicts White Hou

On AT&T-Time Warner merger, Giuliani again contradicts White Hou

Wyden said that of the lobbying firms the Swiss drugmaker paid during the first 15 months of the Trump administration, no single firm was paid more than $300,000, while Cohen's firm was paid that amount each quarter for one year.

Cohen and others were hired to help navigate "a wide range of issues", including its proposed US$85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc, CEO Randall Stephenson said in a memo seen by Reuters.

Stephenson said Bob Quinn, senior executive vice president of the external and legislative affairs group, "will be retiring".

He was correct. a year ago his administration sued to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner.

Giuliani told Huffington Post on Friday evening that President Donald Trump "denied" a merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The Department of Justice filed suit in November to block the deal, a case that is still pending.

"Companies often hire consultants for these purposes, especially at the beginning of a new presidential administration, and we have done so in previous administrations, as well", the company said in the email. AT&T disagreed, sending the battle into a federal trial. Novartis acknowledged this week that it paid Cohen's shell company for health care consulting services.

On Friday, Sen. Ron Wyden of OR, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, opened an inquiry into the arrangement between Cohen and Novartis, alleging that at the time of the deal the company was negotiating with Medicare on the price of a costly cancer drug.

The FBI raided Cohen's home and office in April, as part of a probe being conducted by NY federal prosecutors.

Quinn was promoted to replace AT&T's longtime head of lobbying, James Cicconi, just before the company announced its merger with Time Warner.

'Everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate.'

"There is no other way to say it - AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake", Stephenson's memo to employees said.

But, Stephenson added, AT&T's Washington team failed to fully vet Cohen before hiring him, and for that Stephenson takes responsibility.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, wrote in a court filing earlier this week that Avenatti has "no lawful basis to possess" the records and asked a judge to require Avenatti to explain how he came to possess and release them.

Essential Consultants was the same company Cohen used in October 2016 to route money to Daniels in exchange for her agreement not to disclose an alleged affair with Trump.

"This is actually the definition of 'draining the swamp".

Quinn did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The company has since called the contract a mistake and said Cohen could not provide the services they expected.

Weeks before that aboard Air Force One, Mr. Trump told reporters he was unaware of Cohen's payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Federal law requires companies such as AT&T to register individuals as lobbyists if they devote at least 20 percent of their time contacting and trying to influence key government decision-makers, including the president. But the company would not answer questions about what specifically went wrong and whether it would enact changes in how it conducts business in Washington.

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