AT&T paid Trump fixer Michael Cohen $600,000 for advice on its multibillion-dollar proposed merger with Time Warner, the Washington Post reported Thursday citing internal documents.
Trump opposed the merger on the campaign trail, and the Department of Justice is currently in the middle of a lawsuit to stop it, the Post noted.
AT&T acknowledged paying Cohen this week after Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, alleged that the company had made the payments to the same shell company Cohen used to pay hush money to Daniels.
Combined with payments from other entities, Cohen made millions of dollars in the months following the presidential election from companies seeking his political and policy advice — seemingly an attempt to buy access or influence with the new President’s inner circle.
The Post specified that the documents made clear, though, that Cohen was not to spend any time contacting federal officials.
Cohen, according to the documents the Post reviewed, 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” as well as to “creatively address political and communications issues.”
The Post said AT&T did not contest the authenticity of the documents, which were reportedly signed by two public affairs executives at the company.
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