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"We have we never paid any money to, nor were we aware of, Essential Consultants LLC and we've never performed work for any of the identified entities as a result of our past arrangement with Cohen", Kakolyris said.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for a porn star who received $130,000 from Essential Consultants as hush money after having an alleged affair with Trump before he became president, recently revealed the connection between Cohen's company and Novartis's payments.

"As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018".

The first revelations were made by Michael Avenatti, lawyer for the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, but were confirmed yesterday in much greater detail by NBC, the New York Times, and the Associated Press. But CNN has not independently authenticated the documents.

It was widely reported Tuesday evening that AT&T had paid at least $200,000 to Essential Consultants, the DE firm Cohen had created ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The payments to Essential Consulting LLC are among the business dealings likely being investigated by the USA attorneys office in NY.

Rich Delmar, the general counsel for the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, said Wednesday that investigators want to know if the disclosures violated the Bank Secrecy Act.

"This agreement was also in no way related to the group dinner Dr. Narasimhan had at the World Economic Forum in Davos with President Trump and 15 Europe based industry leaders".

Healthcare giant Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million in a year.


AT&T confirmed the $200,000 payment late on Tuesday, saying it hoped to gain "insights" into the new administration at a time when the telecommunications company sought approval for a major merger, among other issues.

Mr Vekselberg is among a handful of Russians to have been sanctioned by the United States over the Kremlin's election meddling, the subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Cohen is not a registered lobbyist, according to public records.

The timing of the payments is noteworthy in part because AT&T had several key issues in front of the administration, including net neutrality regulations and a $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, CNN's parent company. Other companies that hired Essential Consultants were a subsidiary of drug-maker Novartis, and Columbus Nova, a USA company with ties to a Russian oligarch.

The company determined after meeting with Cohen that the lawyer's assistance was not helpful. The payments Avenatti alleges Cohen received from corporate entities amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars from each company.

Meanwhile, Zainal Kassim, who represents Actuarial Partners, told The Daily Caller that Avenatti also got another case wrong.

So: The president's lawyer reportedly phoned up a drug company and offered to sell it access to the White House (and, implicitly, influence over American health-care policy), then gave them it virtually nothing of use - but nonetheless led its employees to believe that that if they didn't continue paying him $100,000 a month, the US president might grow angry and use his political power to punish them. Essential isn't even a listed company, and a a financial filing describes the "company" as a 'real estate consulting company that collects fees for investment consulting work'.