Wyden Seeks Seeks Documents On Novartis Payments To Cohen

Blanche Robertson
May 13, 2018

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Friday that hiring Cohen was a "big mistake".

The email comes at a critical time for AT&T. Trump repeatedly has bashed CNN, a unit of Time Warner.

The Department of Justice in November sued to stop AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, saying the merger would harm competition, lessen innovation and result in higher costs for consumers. That would have put his consulting fee at $1.8 million for the year. The deal did not permit him to lobby on AT&T's behalf without first notifying the company.

AT&T is no stranger to Washington politics.

The president has made several public comments about his desire to see the merger terminated, while the Justice Department has demanded a sale of CNN-unit Turner Broadcasting or AT&T's DirecTV as a condition of rubber-stamping the deal. "Such a disgrace in reporting!" Murray's letter expresses an interest in Cohen's consulting on "US healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act", citing a Washington Post story on the matter.

My friend Donald Trump is soon to be president! Nonetheless, Stephenson added, retaining Cohen "was a serious misjudgment". AT&T said Mr. Cohen didn't arrange any meetings for the company with the president and that the contract ended after December 2017. Trump on the campaign trail repeatedly said he would block it.

"There doesn't seem to be any involvement with us", he said. Once brought to light, the company apologized and then ousted its lobbying head.

Initially, it was believed AT&T paid Cohen $200,000.

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"In this instance", he continued, "our Washington, D.C., team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that". Such conduct is absolutely wrong.

The internal memo also said that Senior Executive Vice President Bob Quinn "will be retiring".

Company sources tell FOX Business Network that Stephenson is on thin ice with the company's board and that he could be on the way out if the merger fails following the mishap with Cohen.

Among them, AT&T, who has just forced out their top DC exec responsible for authorizing $600,000 in payments to Cohen.

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. "But that's factually accurate and it ought to carry more weight in this situation".

Whether or not Trump personally denied the merger is vital, considering the political implications that have plagued the case from the beginning.

Quinn, a lawyer who joined the company in 1993 and obtained on its Washington office at October 20-16, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

To that end, ethics experts said Friday that the wireless giant could be in the clear legally. Hannity has described his personal dealings with Cohen as centered on real estate advice and said that it "never rose to any level that I needed to tell anyone that I was asking him questions". "They were asking him to help them get a feel on the administration and where the administration is going", said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight.

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