Giuliani says Trump 'had no knowledge' of Cohen's corporate clients

AT&T Chief Calls Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a 'Big Mistake'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended President Donald Trump when asked about the payments between AT&T and the president's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen as the "definition of draining the swamp" on Friday afternoon.

"There is certainly plenty AT&T would like to get out of the Trump administration", noted the far-left media outlet Vox, adding that AT&T is now attempting to get a $85 billion merger with Time Warner approved through the Trump administration.

In the same memo, it is revealed that Bob Quinn, Senior Executive Vice President of the External & Legislative Affairs (read: lobbying) group, is retiring amid the scandal.

Quinn, who has been in his position since 2016, originally started with the Bell system as an operator for Illinois Bell in 1980, before AT&T was broken up by the Justice Department in a landmark antitrust action four years later.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing internal company documents, that Cohen's deal with AT&T included providing advice about the company's proposed merger with.

Makan Delrahim, the chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division, for his part has argued the government's position is the deal would "mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy".

Closing arguments were made in the AT&T-Time Warner case last month, and Judge Richard Leon said he will present a decision on June 12. The consulting fee went through a shell company Cohen also used to pay hush money to Daniels over her alleged affair with Trump.

The disclosure of AT&T's relationship with Cohen has turned into a major embarrassment for the telecommunications company as it awaits a United States judge's decision, due on June 12, on whether it can go through with the purchase of Time Warner, a deal that has been denounced by Trump.

Cohen is also under investigation by prosecutors in NY for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

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'Everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate.'

Actually, there was never any "lobbying" work, according to AT&T, which reportedly released an internal memo Friday written by CEO Randall Stephenson.

Attorney Michael Cohen's simultaneous relationship with Donald Trump and several blue chip companies that paid him for insight into the new president strikes legal experts as unusual and has triggered questions about client confidentiality.

AT&T paid Essential Consultants LLC, a firm set up by Cohen, a total of US$600,000 (S480,000) over 2017 for the advice.

Rudy Giuliani has apparently again contradicted the Trump administration with his public statements.

Quinn, a lawyer who joined the company in 1993 and took over its Washington office in October 2016, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. The company has since called the contract a mistake and said Cohen could not provide the services they expected.

By January 2017, Quinn and Stephenson were at Trump Tower in NY for a meeting with the president-elect.

Federal law requires companies such as AT&T to register individuals as lobbyists if they devote at least 20 percent of their time contacting and trying to influence key government decision-makers, including the president. Both companies said they cooperated fully and consider the matters closed, but that hasn't stopped Avenatti.

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