A new bombshell report has revealed that Swiss drug company Novartis paid President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer a total of $1.2 million to advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act.”
The report also noted that special counsel Robert Mueller contacted the company last year about payments it made to Cohen, The Hill.
“Novartis cooperated fully with the special counsel’s office and provided all the information requested,” the company said in a statement.
The pharmaceutical giant said it hired Cohen in February 2017 as part of a one-year contract for consulting services. The company said it paid Cohen $100,000 per month, for a total of $1.2 million.
“With the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act,” the company said, according to the report.
The payments to Cohen were made through a shell company called Essential Consultants LLC. That shell company has come under intense scrutiny because Cohen used it to make a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film star alleging an affair with Trump, as part of a nondisclosure agreement.
The statement from Novartis comes a day after Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, published documents purportedly detailing the companies that have paid Essential Consultants, including Novartis.
Avenatti also revealed that Cohen received $500,000 in the months after the 2016 election from a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Mr. Cohen inexplicably accepted these payments while he was the personal attorney to the President and holding himself out at times as employed by the Trump Organization (with few other clients),” the memo said.
“This was occurring at the same time significant questions were being raised relating to (a) the involvement of Russia and Vladimir Putin in the 2016 Presidential Election and (b) the extent of the relationship between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump.”