WASHINGTON (AP) — AT&T paid President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, $600,000 for advice on its proposed purchase of Time Warner shortly after Trump’s election, according to a report published Thursday by The Washington Post.
The ties between AT&T and Cohen had previously been revealed, but the telecommunications company had only said it agreed to pay the attorney to gain a better understanding on how the incoming Trump administration might approach a wide range of issues, including antitrust issues.
The Justice Department is seeking to block AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner on the grounds that it would stifle competition. AT&T disagreed, sending the battle into a federal trial. U.S District Judge Richard Leon is expected to issue a ruling next month.
Dallas-based AT&T Inc. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about the Post’s story. Its contract with Cohen ended last year.
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Cohen also received payments from other companies seeking insights about the Trump administration. The list includes pharmaceutical giant Novartis, which has confirmed paying Cohen $1.2 million.
Federal prosecutors are investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud centered on a $130,000 payment to silence Stephanie Clifford, a porn star better known as Stormy Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump in 2006, a tryst the president has denied.