Stormy's Lawyer Has Wrong Michael Cohen in One Transaction

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"He promised access to the new administration", Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the company said. One company that transferred HALF A MILLION DOLLARS for "a consulting fee" is Columbus Nova, an American affiliate of Renova Group, the business of (drumroll) Viktor Vekselberg!

But Novartis stressed on Wednesday that the company's contract with Cohen predated Narasimhan, and said he had "no involvement whatsoever" in the arrangement.

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Avenatti is responding on Twitter, calling Cohen's filing Wednesday "baseless, improper and sanctionable".

In terms of the Special Counsel's office, Novartis was contacted in November 2017 regarding the company's agreement with Essential Consultants.

A Novartis representative said: "Any agreements with Essential Consultants were entered before our current CEO taking office in February of this year and have expired".

Novartis said it entered into a one-year agreement with Essential Consultants in February 2017, focused on USA health care matters.

Rich Delmar, a spokesman for the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, told ABC News on Wednesday that investigators are "inquiring into allegations that SAR information" - short for a Suspicious Activity Report - "has been improperly disseminated", referring to reporting related to Cohen's startup, Essential Consulting, LLC.

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AT&T confirmed the payments, saying they were aimed at gaining "insights" into the new administration.

But just a month after signing the deal, Novartis executives had their first meeting with Cohen, and afterward "determined that Michael Cohen and Essentials Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated".

Novartis said it had to continue paying him until the contract ended this past February because the agreement could only be terminated for cause.

Dr. Narasimhan had dinner with Mr. Trump and 15 other leaders of European companies at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

The investigation comes a day after an attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels detailed various payments that several companies made through the firm to Cohen, who has come under scrutiny after an FBI raid over his business dealings last month. AT&T has been pursuing an $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc, which the U.S. Justice Department is trying to stop.

Perhaps the most notable payment to Essential Consultants was $500,000 from Columbus Nova, a US -based affiliate of a company controlled by a Russian oligarch, Victor Vekselberg, according to the documents released by Avenatti. The affiliate, NY investment firm Columbus Nova, confirmed the payment, saying it was for consulting on investments and other matters, but denied any involvement by Vekselberg. Columbus Nova is exclusively owned and controlled by Americans, it said.

CNN reported on Tuesday that Mueller questioned Vekselberg about the payments to Cohen.

Mueller is primarily investigating possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russians who interfered in the election. Now that we know Cohen doesn't have the value of his home to leverage in his legal battle, well, the prospect of being a government witness seems a lot better. The company has said Cohen referred five clients to it but has declined to name them.