Dems demand details on Cohen payments, citing potential corruption

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Earlier this month, Novartis announced that special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed a year ago to oversee an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, enquired in November about the company's outflows to Cohen.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are joining Ron Wyden (D-OR) in his call for information from AT&T and Novartis about their payments to Michael Cohen. The senators questioned the appropriateness of AT&T's dealings with Cohen, given "Mr. Cohen's lack of experience and lack of knowledge about tax reform, antitrust issues, and FCC policy", they wrote in the letter.

"In particular, AT&T had a significant financial interest in key Administration decisions, including whether the Department of Justice would contest the proposed merger with Time Warner, whether the Federal Communications Commission would overturn net neutrality rules, and whether the Administration would push a tax plan that gave huge breaks to corporations like AT&T", the senators wrote to CEO Randall Stephenson. That is same firm he created to pay the $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and has alleged a 2006 affair with Trump.

AT&T confirmed it hired Cohen in early 2017 to get information about the new president and his administration.

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In recent days, Stephenson and Narasimhan have both apologized for their companies' contracts with Essential Consultants.

Columbus Nova, the company linked to the oligarch, paid Cohen's shell company $500,000. Bob Quinn, AT&T's head of public policy, stepped down after the payments were revealed. It also wants in-depth details of each payment, copies of contracts with any lobbyists, advisors or consultants that may relate to the Trump administration and healthcare.

Talking about allegations Cohen pitched himself as "closest to the president" to potential clients, Oliver added "that is a little bit weird because lawyers don't generally pitch themselves by offering up info on their other clients-it's like a doctor saying 'if you hire me I'll tell about all of Larry King's birthmarks'".

"We begin tonight with the Trump White House", Oliver said, "the only home in America where the next occupant will have to ask, 'What's the best way to get cum stains out of Abe Lincoln's ghost?'"

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