Giuliani trades 'pimp' jabs with Stormy's lawyer

Randal Sanchez
May 13, 2018

Rudy Giuliani is standing by his Friday comment about President Trump blocking the AT&T merger with Time Warner, telling CBS News correspondent Paula Reid the Trump administration is blocking the merger and that he believes President Trump and the Trump administration are one and the same.

"If Cohen was representing the President as an attorney, which he has certainly argued was the case, then Cohen's obligations as a member of the bar would seemingly make this arrangement troubling", said Josh Rosenstein, a partner with the Washington firm Sandler Reiff and a specialist in lobbying compliance.

AT&T said in the memo it did not hire Cohen to lobby on its behalf.

AT&T paid Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, $600,000 through a contract that ended in December 2017.

"Let this serve as formal notice - there is significantly more evidence and facts to come relating to Mr. Cohen's dealings and Mr. Trump's knowledge and involvement", Avenatti said on Twitter Friday.

Giuliani told The Associated Press on Friday that Trump was "surprised" to learn that Cohen, his longtime attorney and self-described fixer, brokered deals with companies looking to gain his knowledge about the president.

But Cohen's "lobbying" seemed to be nonexistent, especially since last November the Justice Department sued AT&T to block the bid, citing antitrust concerns.

In late 2017 AT&T provided information about Cohen to Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the company said in the fact sheet.

"To be clear, everything we did was done in line with the law and wholly valid", Stephenson wrote. Because Cohen works for Trump, the media therefore believes the president is involved in a "pay-to-play" scheme with AT&T.

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This repurchase authorization permits the coffee company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. The company had revenue of $6.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion.

"As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few", Trump said during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in October 2016.

The chief of the Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, has denied that there was any White House interference in the decision to sue to block the merger, and the White House issued a statement previous year saying that "no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter".

Novartis said its former chief executive, Joe Jimenez, hired Essential Consultants.

Time Warner was not aware of AT&T's contract with Cohen, according to a person familiar with the company's thinking.

"Trump has a right to know that AT&T is paying Cohen", said Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St Louis.

Avenatti has declined to reveal his sources for the information he released, several companies have now publicly confirmed their consulting deals with Cohen. There are longstanding concerns that he would try to compromise the Justice Department's independence as it evaluated the proposed merger. Novartis said it had cooperated fully and considers its role in the matter closed.

Another one of Cohen's corporate clients, Novartis, offered a similar explanation.

Giuliani is also a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, which is the office now investigating Cohen's business dealings.

-Peter Nicholas and Christina Rogers contributed to this article.

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