The wireless provider, which is embroiled in a legal battle with the Justice Department over its proposed acquisition of Time Warner, confirmed that it had been contacted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
“We cooperated fully, providing all information requested in November and December of 2017,” AT&T said in a statement. “A few weeks later, our consulting contract with Cohen expired at the end of the year. Since then, we have received no additional questions from the Special Counsel’s office and consider the matter closed.”
AT&T’s connection with Cohen was revealed by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. He claimed that the company made payments totaling $200,000 to Essential Consultants, a shell company Cohen established prior to the 2016 election.
The New York Times reported that transactions adding up to at least $4.4 million flowed through Essential Consultant, beginning shortly before Trump was elected president and continuing through January. AT&T made four payments of $50,000 from October 2017 through January, the Times confirmed.
AT&T issued a statement saying Essential Consultants was one of several firms it hired to “provide insights into understanding the new administration.”
The timing is significant, given the issues AT&T had pending before the Trump Administration, including its still-pending $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, net neutrality regulations and corporate tax reform.
Two Democratic lawmakers, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey, today called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the payments, CNN reported.