Was the AT&T money to Cohen & Trump not a bribe but a mere ‘payment for insights’?

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Mike Mozart / Flickr ATandT...
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Shocked, shocked that pay-to-play remunerations exist in business-as-usual…so when Manafort offered to brief Deripaska about the new administration in 2016, it was altruism and collusion cooperation.

In the spirit of such philanthropy, orphaned adult media entertainers could receive adoption support much like the Trump Tower meetings on 9 June 2016.

We now know a little bit more from Michael Avenatti’s work for Stormy Daniels in the matter of that $130,000. For their $200,000, was AT&T also being pleasured?

AT&T verified Tuesday that it paid a company owned by President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for consulting work at a time when the company was hoping the federal government would approve a merger with Time-Warner.

AT&T said Tuesday evening that the company hired Essential Consultants to “provide insights into understanding the new administration.”

“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” AT&T said in a statement. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”

The payments were made when AT&T was trying to obtain government approval for the deal. The Trump administration blocked the AT&T-Time Warner merger in November.

www.washingtonexaminer.com/…

(June 2017) Trump’s tough comments last year about AT&T’s proposed $108 billion merger raised the prospect of a rough ride. But AT&T, whose merger is now being reviewed, has found common ground with the White House on issues ranging from net neutrality to tax policy to deregulation.

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AT&T contract ended the same month the FCC repealed #NetNeutrality

But AT&T’s payment is a stunning development that is likely to create a thicket of legal problems for Cohen and Trump himself.

Essential Consultants is not a real company

AT&T tries to justify the payments as a legitimate consulting expense, saying that the firm provided “insights.” But Essential Consultants is not a real company. It was set up on October 17, 2016. According to financial records, the company exists as a “real estate consulting company that collects fees for investment consulting work.”

[…]

The shell company has no website, no known employees, and no public facing presence of any kind. It raises the question of how AT&T could have even possibly known about Essential Consultants.

thinkprogress.org/…

www.dropbox.com/…

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