Not Your Dad’s Pay-to-Play Scheme
Plenty of ink has already been spilled on revelations surrounding Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s company, Essential Consultants LLC. A refresher:
Cohen used the company to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels in late 2016 to stay quiet about her alleged affair with the president. In 2017, we now know, Cohen used the company for a whole new venture: access-peddling. At least four companies that we know of, including one tied to a Putin-friendly Russian oligarch, paid six-figure sums to the LLC in 2017.
On Wednesday, we learned that Swiss drug giant Novartis <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/09/novartis-paid-trumps-lawyer-michael-cohen-more-than-1-million-for-work-he-was-unable-to-do-company-says.html" style="color: #F00606; text-decoration: underline;">signed a $100,000-per-month deal</a> with Cohen’s firm to conduct health-care policy consulting, and in particular to plumb the new administration for insights on what it planned to do with respect to Obamacare. But according to Novartis, it took one meeting with Cohen and decided it didn’t want his services after all. But the drug maker says it was contractually obliged to keep him on retainer through the duration of its year-long contract, so it paid Essential Consulting $1.2 million in all.