WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen (all times local):7:45 p.m.AT&T says the company was contacted last year by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office about President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.In a statement Wednesday, the company says it was contacted by the office investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. AT&T says it “cooperated fully, providing all information requested in November and December of 2017.”AT&T says its consulting contract with Cohen expired at the end of the year and it has received no questions since.AT&T told employees Wednesday that it paid Cohen, beginning in early 2017, to consult on how Trump might approach a range of policy issues, including antitrust enforcement.A report released by an attorney for former porn star Stormy Daniels details four payments totaling $200,000 that AT&T made to a company controlled by Cohen.——6:40 p.m.Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer say much of the financial information in a report released by a lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels is “completely inaccurate.”The lawyers for Michael Cohen told a New York judge Wednesday that Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has made “numerous incorrect statements” publicly since releasing information related to Cohen on Tuesday.They say Avenatti made statements “in an apparent attempt to prejudice and discredit Mr. Cohen” after April 9 raids on his home and office. The raids were carried out by federal agents looking for evidence in a criminal probe. Cohen’s lawyers say Avenatti is seeking to create a “toxic mix of misinformation.”Avenatti is responding on Twitter, calling Cohen’s filing Wednesday “baseless, improper and sanctionable.”——6:05 p.m.AT&T says it paid President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer beginning in early 2017 to consult on how Trump might approach a range of policy issues, including antitrust enforcement.But in a memo to employees sent Wednesday, the telecommunications giant says it didn’t pay Michael Cohen for legal or lobbying work. It says its contract with him expired in December 2017.A report released by an attorney for former porn star Stormy Daniels details four payments totaling $200,000 that AT&T made to a company controlled by Cohen.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Cohen used the same company to pay Daniels $130,000 days before the 2016 presidential election.An AT&T spokeswoman didn’t respond when asked how AT&T learned of Cohen’s consulting services or whether it paid Cohen more than $200,000.———3:15 p.m.Swiss drug giant Novartis says it met with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer only once as part of its $1.2 million payout to his company.Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff says in an emailed statement that Novartis hired lawyer Michael Cohen for $100,000 a month to consult on health care matters, but determined after a single meeting with Cohen that he wouldn’t be of use.Althoff says “the decision was taken not to engage further.” But he says the contract couldn’t be terminated, so Novartis kept paying Cohen’s company, Essential Consultants, for a full year.Cohen has no background in health care or public policy.Novartis didn’t respond to questions about what services it expected Cohen would provide and why it would have agreed to pay Cohen $1.2 million before hashing out the details of the work.Althoff says Novartis complied with requests for information about the payments from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators in November.———2:55 p.m.The Treasury Department’s internal watchdog says it’s investigating how detailed allegations about the banking records of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer became public.At issue is an account of bank transactions involving Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The financial information was disclosed on Tuesday night by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film actress Stormy Daniels.Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 to stay silent about her alleged tryst with Trump in 2006.Word of the investigation comes from Rich Delmar, general counsel for the department’s inspector general.Under federal law, financial institutions must monitor their customers’ activities and report suspicious transactions to the government. But that information is supposed to remain confidential.Delmar says that “if there’s been unauthorized release” of such information, “that is of concern to us.”
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