"This week's revelations of AT&T and other companies paying Michael Cohen for access to the president show how weak our lobbying transparency laws are and that a system of "pay to play" still thrives in Washington", Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight, said in an email.
"No one seems to understand why the RNC, America Rising and other GOP groups aren't doing even basic political blocking and tackling with Avenatti", said a GOP operative to The Daily Beast. "Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and (his company) Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further", the company's statement said.
"I don't get involved with pimps", he said.
Internal AT&T documents obtained by The Washington Post show how AT&T agreed to pay $600,000 to Cohen past year in exchange for guidance on policy matters, including issues it is facing at the Federal Communications Commission and its proposed deal with Time Warner.
Cohen's payment to the president's accuser in the weeks leading up to the presidential election could be cast as an illegal contribution but not if he were acting on the president's behest and with his money.
Trump has always been a vocal opponent of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, apparently in part because of his antipathy for Time Warner-owned CNN, which he has labeled "fake news" for its negative coverage of him.
And that brings us to this week's news about Michael Cohen, President Trump's one-time "fixer".
Stephenson said he took responsibility for the Washington team's failure to vet Cohen.More news: Celtics' title hopes rest on impossible LeBron James task
Stephenson said Quinn plans to retire, but people familiar with the matter told the Journal that the policy chief was forced to leave.
Stephenson said the vetting process in Quinn's office "clearly failed" and vowed AT&T would "do better".
"As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few", Trump said during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in October 2016. It said it hired Cohen for consulting on potential real estate and other investments.
"They are basically tied up trying to answer Judge Ellis for the last week who has said do you or don't you have authority", Giuliani said.
"I'm not going to comment on an internal staff meeting", Sanders responded, looking-through-her-lorgnette-ily, when asked about Kelly Sadler's cruel crack.
Novartis mentioned in a press release that the corporate had only one assembly with Cohen after signing the deal and finally determined to not pursue any additional engagement, however they paid him the total quantity anyway.
Initially, it was believed AT&T paid Cohen $200,000.
Quinn started with the Bell system as an operator for Illinois Bell in 1980, before AT&T was broken up by the Justice Department in a landmark antitrust action four years later. That means he might have information that could be of interest to the special counsel.