Within weeks of being created by Cohen in October 2016, Essential Consultants was used to pay Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her agreement to not publicly discuss an alleged sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump, the actress has said.
Cohen confirmed he paid the money, but the White House denies any such affair. Rudy Giuliani, an outside attorney representing Trump in the special counsel’s Russia probe, has said that Trump reimbursed Cohen for his porn star payoff.
Avenatti’s new report detailed payments to Essential Consultants that were not previously known.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported, quoting a source, that AT&T paid Cohen more than the $200,000 identified by Avenatti’s report. The company confirmed to CNBC again on Wednesday that it made the payments in exchange for “insights” into the Trump administration, but did not detail the total amount paid. Dow Jones, citing a source, reported that AT&T paid Cohen’s company up to $600,000.
Columbus Nova, the investment management firm that Avenatti alleges is controlled by Russia oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, disputed his claim, saying the company is “solely owned and operated by Americans.”
The company also has claimed that it hired Cohen as a consultant for possible sources of capital and potential real estate investments and other ventures.
The “claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved in or provided any funding for Columbus Nova’s engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue,” an attorney for Columbus Nova said.
Novartis says that it was using Essential Consultants for consulting on issues related to American health policy. The company also said that it was contacted last November by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, and “provided all the information requested.”
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by members of Trump’s campaign in that meddling.
Novartis in a statement to CNBC said it had paid $100,000 per month to Essential Consultants under the terms of the contract signed in February 2017, despite the fact that the company quickly learned that Cohen was unable to do the work expected.
Novartis said it had to continue paying him until the contract ended this past February because the agreement could only be terminated for cause. While the company did not reveal how much Cohen ended up being paid in total, it could have been $1.2 million.
A KAI spokesman said it signed a contract with Essential for “legal consulting concerning accounting standards on production costs.”
source : CNBC