AT&T also released a document discussing "facts around AT&T & Michael Cohen" that is available here.
Avenatti grabbed headlines by saying that it may have been Vekselberg, not Trump, who reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment to Daniels.
The New York Times on May 5 ran an extensive feature on Cohen's "shadowy business empire" and his alleged ties with Russian mobsters. The contract lasted for one year, from January through December 2017, at a rate of $50,000 per month, and was only for advisory services and consulting. Called Columbus Nova, Vekselberg's firm paid $500,000 to Cohen's DE entity, which, as it had turned out, was used for hush money payments, including the payment made to Stormy Daniels.
South Korea's Korea Aerospace Industries also said it hired the consultancy for services on accounting matters.
On Wednesday, Avenatti took to Twitter to encourage media outlets to investigate the alleged SARs filed on Cohen's Essential Consulting. An attorney for Vekselberg did not respond to a request for comment, nor did representatives for his company in Russian Federation.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told Law&Crime "It appears that Cohen may have violated FARA, but for it to be a crime, Cohen would have had to do so knowingly and willfully".
While Novartis said it got little from Cohen, the arrangement dragged Novartis into Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into suspected Russian meddling in the US presidential election. He built his fortune, now estimated by Forbes at $14.6 billion, by investing in the aluminum and oil industries.
That was how one employee of the Swiss drug giant Novartis described the company's relationship with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday after leaked financial reports revealed that the pharmaceutical firm paid Cohen $1.2 million between February of 2017 and early 2018.
Cohen appears to have engaged Novartis in NY in "political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal" and within the United States solicited and collected monetary contributions related to "US healthcare policy matters".
Payments to the companies 'may well have been used to influence the president of the United States, using Michael Cohen and his shell company as a conduit, ' Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said.
At the time, AT&T said that Stephenson had "a very good meeting" with Trump but that the Time Warner merger "was not a topic of discussion".
Even though the pledge didn't apply, Brendan Fischer of the non-profit Campaign Legal Center said Cohen's arrangement shows that Trump has failed to "drain the swamp" in Washington as he promised he would do. Millions of dollars flowed into the firm from companies that believed, for the right price, the President's fixer could assist them.
There are multiple reasons why a multinational drugmaker like Novartis might want counsel on "U.S. healthcare policy matters" as a new administration took over.