One question likely to be explored by investigators is whether the payments to Cohen were made in exchange for access to Trump. "Keep in mind - it was a whole new environment and the usual players were no longer in [their] role". A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that AT&T paid more than $200,000 to Cohen's company.
Michael Cohen, the personal attorney and "fixer" for Donald Trump, appears to have collected $1.2 million previous year from a multinational drug manufacturer now under investigation for allegedly bribing politicians in Greece, according to a report by the pharmaceutical industry news site STAT. Cohen has claimed that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket, using a home-equity loan to secure the funds. "Novartis cooperated fully with the Special Counsel's office and provided all the information requested", the company's statement read. The agreement was for a term of one year, and paid Essential Consultants 100,000 United States dollars per month.
Novartis first met with Mr. Cohen in March 2017.
According to Avenatti, Novartis made four payments of $99,980 into the account in late 2017 and early 2018.
We've run down the full list of companies that paid Cohen, how much they paid, and what they said they paid for below.
Rich Delmar, a counsel to the IG, said that in response to media reports, the office was "inquiring into allegations" that Suspicious Activity Reports on Cohen's banking transactions were "improperly disseminated".
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, exposed the Novartis payments to Michael Cohen on Tuesday. Columbus Nova is a subsidiary of Renova, and Vekselberg was one of several wealthy Russians tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin who were hit with USA sanctions earlier this year. Columbus Nova is exclusively owned and controlled by Americans, it said.
Vekselberg was one of the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the Treasury Department last month over Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
Columbus Nova, the investment management firm that Avenatti alleges is controlled by Russian Federation oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, disputed his claim, saying the company is "solely owned and operated by Americans".
Columbus Nova said Vekselberg had no involvement in the arrangement with Cohen. But the US company, Columbus Nova, and Vekselberg deny the money had anything to do with him.
"The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved or provided any funding for Columbus Nova's engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue", its attorney, Richard Owens, said in the statement.
Korea Aerospace is now partnered with Lockheed Martin on a bid to win a US Air Force contract. The company has said Cohen referred five clients to it but has declined to name them.
Cohen on Wednesday told reporters Avenatti's report was inaccurate. "Real estate, business consulting, health care consulting, the list goes on and on".