Wednesday, 19 September, 2018


Top Novartis Executive Retires Over $1.2 Million Payment To Michael Cohen

Top Novartis Executive Retires Over $1.2 Million Payment To Michael Cohen Top Novartis Executive Retires Over $1.2 Million Payment To Michael Cohen
Conrad Doyle | 16 May, 2018, 18:48

Novartis has denied it was trying to gain access to Trump via payments to a firm controlled by Michael Cohen.

Felix Ehrat, general counsel for the Swiss drugmaker, noted in a statement Wednesday that the company's $1.2 million agreement was "legally in order", but added "it was an error".

Novartis made the payments of $100,000 a month to Mr. Cohen's company, Essential Consultants, for insight into health-care policy in a one-year contract that ended in February.

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels or knowing anything about that payment but his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged the USA president had in fact reimbursed Cohen for the payoff.

Ehrat announced he'd step down from Novartis in June, admitted the Cohen deal was "an error."

"As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end", Ehrat said in a statement issued by the firm. They pointed to the fact Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan was one of a group of business leaders who dined with Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

Ehrat's retirement echoes that last week of of AT&T's top lobbyist, Bob Quinn, who had responsibility for that company's hiring of Cohen and his Essential Consultants vehicle.

"With the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain USA healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act", Novartis said in a statement to Business Insider on March 9.

Novartis said its representatives met with Cohen in March 2017.

The Novartis ouster comes as AT&T forced its top Washington, D.C. executive into retirement last week, following fallout from revelations that the telecom giant paid Cohen $600,000 previous year. Novartis said it stopped using Essential's services, but couldn't break the contract and paid him for the next 11 months.

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