WAPO: DETAILS EMERGE ON WHY AT&T PAID COHEN
5AT&T’s $600,000 deal with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, specified that Cohen would advise the company on its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, the Washington Post reported on Thursday night, citing company documents. Trump expressed opposition to the merger during the campaign and his administration ultimately chose to fight it, with the Justice Department filing suit in November to block the agreement. The case has yet to be decided. The Justice Department wants AT&T to divest Time Warner’s DirecTV unit or Turner networks as a condition of approving the acquisition. AT&T has argued that divestitures would destroy some of the consumer value of the merger. Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, revealed earlier this week that Cohen had received payments from a number of companies in 2017 and 2018, including AT&T, the Swiss drugmaker Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. and Columbus Nova LLC. Columbus Nova was listed in November 2017 as part of a conglomerate controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, a businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.