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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A subsidiary of drug manufacturer Novartis paid nearly $400,000 to a company controlled by Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Novartis is not the only large company that reportedly made substantial payments to Cohen's firm, which aren't disclosed like traditional lobbying activity and will undoubtedly raise questions about whether those corporations were paying for access to the president.

  • The company, Essential Consultants, is the vehicle through which Cohen made his now-famous payment to Stormy Daniels.
  • The payments were made in four installments, between October 2017 and January 2018, per NYT.
  • Novartis said its relationship with Cohen's company has expired.

At an absolute minimum, it's not a great look. These payments are in the news because a firm tied to a Russian oligarch also reportedly paid Essential Consultants for its services. With both a possible Russian connection and a Stormy Daniels connection, this story won't be going away anytime soon.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Biden to Dems: This is my make-or-break moment

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.