May 11, 2018

Novartis payments to Michael Cohen were excessive by D.C. standards

Michael Cohen walking down Park Avenue. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

STAT reports that there "weren’t any contracts under which an individual company paid a single lobbying firm [as much as] $1.2 million in 2017," the amount the Swiss drug maker paid Michael Cohen.

The big picture: Cohen was expected to help the company navigate through political challenges as a consultant but was paid more than any lobbyist in D.C.

"The record-setter was PricewaterhouseCoopers, which brought in $950,000 to represent the Alliance for Competitive Taxation in 2017, according to a Politico analysis of 2017 filings."

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 6,772,361 — Total deaths: 395,703 — Total recoveries — 2,772,730Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,898,401 — Total deaths: 109,137 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of coronavirus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free coronavirus testing amid protests
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.