Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would advise on Time Warner merger, internal company records show
Three days after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, 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. Internal documents reveal that Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified that he would provide advice on the $85 billion merger, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators. It is unclear what insight Cohen — a longtime real estate attorney and former taxi cab operator — could have provided AT&T on complex telecom matters.
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.” He was also directed to “creatively address political and communications issues” facing the company and advise the company on matters before the Federal Communications Commission. The internal AT&T documents show that Cohen was supposed to spend half his time on “legislative policy development” and the other half on “regulatory policy development.” Payments to Cohen were approved by two executives in AT&T’s public affairs office in Washington.
The documents specified that Cohen, who was not a registered lobbyist, was to spend none of his time engaged in lobbying. They described his work as advising the company, not contacting federal officials.
Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would advise on Time Warner merger, internal company records show Michael Cohen turned his access to Trump into big money — and now big trouble (LA Times) read the contract