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Michael Cohen, personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, exits the United States District Court Southern District of New York. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

AT&T late Tuesday confirmed that it had contracted a corporation tied to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and his alleged payment to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.

Why it matters: AT&T is currently locked in a court battle with the Trump Justice Department, which sued to block its proposed $85 billion merger of Time Warner a month before AT&T says it ended the relationship with the Cohen LLC.

What they're saying: "Essential Consultants was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017," said an AT&T spokesperson.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti released a document on Tuesday detailing payments to Essential Consultants, LLC. The firm is at the center of Avenatti's claim that Cohen paid of Daniels over an alleged affair between the actress and Trump.

  • The document alleges that AT&T made four payments to the company, the first in October, 2017 and the last one in early January, 2018, totaling $200,000. The Justice Department sued to block the Time Warner merger in November, 2017.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO: "It will be terrible" if COVID-19 vaccine prices limit access

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told "Axios on HBO" that it "will be terrible for society" if the price of coronavirus vaccines ever prohibits some people from taking them.

Why it matters: Widespread uptake of the vaccine — which might require annual booster shots — will reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread and mutate, but it's unclear who will pay for future shots or how much they'll cost.

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