Decision on Trump special counsel interview delayed, Giuliani says

Earlier on Friday evening, Trump tweeted about the merger, calling the reporting on the Cohen affair a "disgrace" because it has not mentioned that the DOJ has sued to block the deal.

Essential Consultants paid $130,000 to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement that barred her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

The corporate payments he received demonstrate how Cohen was able to turn his ties with the new president into moneymaking opportunities, despite Trump's campaign pledges to "drain the swamp".

It was about that time that the company heard from Cohen, 51, described alternately as Trump's "personal lawyer" or his "fixer".

Cohen's business dealings, including connections between the shell company and a Russian oligarch, are now under federal investigation.

In addition to AT&T, Avenatti's document revealed details of payments to Cohen's LLC from Korea Aerospace Industries, the global health care firm Novartis AG, and Columbus Nova, a NY investment firm run by Andrew Intrater, a cousin of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Trump has personally railed against the Time Warner-AT&T deal, a stance that may well have more to do with his burning hatred of CNN than anything else.

"It will be important to determine what the president knew about this company and how it worked", Bookbinder says.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. These firms have not fully detailed what Cohen was supposed to do for them. Though Intrater already managed money for one of the world's richest men, he thought Cohen could provide entree to other potential investors. There are a lot of unanswered questions as the scandal continues to unfold, but in this segment from Thursday night's "Daily Show", Trevor Noah takes on the most basic question: How did various corporations get sucked into playing ball with Cohen in the first place?

Giuliani is also a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, which is the office now investigating Cohen's business dealings. Because if Michael Cohen had pitched them in an African accent, they would have seen this coming from a mile away.

Murray's letter calls the company's contract with Cohen an attempt to develop "unvetted and unproductive relationships to try to sway government officials in its favor".

The special counsel had floated the idea of issuing a grand jury subpoena for Trump, his former attorney John Dowd has previously said.

Trump's lawyers haven't decided whether it would be in the president's best interests anyway to speak with Mueller. But Giuliani suggested that a recent conversation with Mueller's team led him to believe that the special counsel, citing a Justice Department opinion, had ruled out the possibility of trying to indict a sitting president.

Intrater ultimately agreed to pay Cohen $1 million over one year in monthly installments, the sources said, in the hope that Cohen would hook him up with deep-pocketed investors.

AT&T said this week it engaged with Essential Consultants a year ago so Cohen could provide "insights into understanding the new administration" and added the company did not lobby for the telecommunications giant. In his first role at AT&T, as a vice president in the federal regulatory affairs group, he represented AT&T before not only the FCC but the U.S. Justice Department. "But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment", Stephenson wrote in a memo to employees.

In an interview with Business Insider published Friday, Giuliani declined Avenatti's invitation, saying, "I don't get involved with pimps". In 2017, the company reported total USA sales of $16.9 billion.

  • Leroy Wright