Cowen: AT&T/Cohen deal shouldn't influence Time Warner trial

Casey Dawson
May 12, 2018

Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, said in a memo to employees on Friday that the company had made a "big mistake" by hiring President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, to advise on the telecommunications giant's deal to buy Time Warner. In an internal memo to employees, obtained by The Associated Press, Friday, May 11, Stephenson called the hiring a "serious misjudgment, '" and said that the company's chief lobbyist in Washington is leaving.

AT&T recently acknowledged paying some $600,000 to Cohen, who is under scrutiny for accepting payment from companies and others seeking access to the White House, and for making a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump about a decade ago. But the furor that has come with AT&T's payments to Cohen does highlight a new and hard dynamic companies have had with Washington since the Trump 2016 election-trying to maintain an amicable relationship with Washington, while at the same time distancing themselves from the divisive commander-in-chief's mounting scandals. AT&T wanted Cohen's "advisory services" on the GOP tax plan and their $85 billion acquisition of TimeWarner that the Department of Justice slammed as one that would raise costs on consumers by more than half a billion dollars per year in additional cable costs.

It is unclear what insight Cohen - a longtime real estate attorney and former taxicab operator - could have provided AT&T on complex telecom matters.

"Everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate", Stephenson wrote.

AT&T never asked Cohen to set up meetings with anyone in the Trump administration, and he did not offer to do so, it said in the memo. It's unrealistic to think Judge Richard Leon would have ruled in favor of AT&T but would now change his mind after hearing about the Cohen deal, he says.

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Netanyahu he said he was eager to discuss ways of "solving crises and removing threats in a thoughtful and responsible manner". President Donald Trump is set to announce Tuesday whether the USA will exit the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers.

The payment to Ms. Clifford was the first known activity involving Essentials Consulting, a so-called shell company incorporated in DE by Mr. Cohen.

Quinn started with the Bell system as an operator for Illinois Bell in 1980, before AT&T was broken up by the Justice Department in a landmark antitrust action four years later.

"Why doesn't the Fake News Media state that the Trump Administration's Anti-Trust Division has been, and is, opposed to the AT&T purchase of Time Warner in a now ongoing Trial". Novartis officials soon determined Mr. Cohen would not be able to deliver on his promises, though they were unable to end the contract.

Quinn did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But AT&T said it did not meet with Avenue a second time. I write to you with a blessed opportunity.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, said Wednesday that the president was unaware of Cohen's consulting agreements.

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