A Merger of Political Corruption With the Tactics of Organized Crime

Companies like Novartis and AT&T that made payments to Michael Cohen last year are busy trying to contain the damage by issuing mea culpas about what a mistake it was. Meanwhile, we’re getting more information about what they were looking for from their investment.

Three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant AT&T turned to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government — including the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The documents detail the full scope of Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T and how his contract specified that he would provide advice on the $85 billion merger, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators…

A “scope of work” describing Cohen’s contract in an internal AT&T document shows that he was hired to “focus on specific long-term planning initiatives as well as the immediate issue of corporate tax reform and the acquisition of Time Warner.”

The legal question being raised is that this appears to be a lobbying effort, but was never reported as such.

But there’s another angle to all of this. AT&T and the other companies involved made these payments to Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants, the same one that he used to pay off Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Shera Bechard. In other words, Trump’s bagman used access to the president to fund his multi-million dollar slush fund that was used to “fix things” for his boss.

Donald Trump and Michael Cohen have taken political corruption to a whole new level by merging it with the tactics of organized crime.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.