The curious relationship between one of the world’s biggest drug makers and President Trump’s personal lawyer began early last year when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis’s then-chief executive officer Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

Jimenez took the call and then instructed his team to reach a deal with Cohen. A one-year contract worth $1.2 million was signed with Cohen in February 2017. The company’s hope was that Cohen could help it navigate a bevy of uncertain issues facing the drug maker — from potential changes to the Affordable Care Act and tax reform to navigating reimbursement challenges for medicines.

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  • So…
    The drug company hired him to try to get inside access, and discovered that they could not?

    Call up the firing squad!

  • This does not pass the laugh test.
    I worked for a consulting firm in DC a decade or so ago and I and a colleague there used to write a customized, weekly bulletin on federal legislative developments for Novartis (mostly bill tracking with insights on possible impacts and predictions on outcome). I think the firm got something like $2000 per month for this. For actual healthcare policy consulting work. With a weekly deliverable for the client. Performed by lawyers who graduated from highly-ranked law schools and were experienced in public policy. Novartis had no problem cancelling the retainer contract when “they no longer had enough funding in their budget” for it. We were very disappointed as they liked our work but the division that hired us considered it a “luxury” they could no longer afford. (I guess if we had shown them some “anger” they would have been afraid to cancel our contract too?)

  • Are there any other publicly traded companies who did similar business with Cohen/Trump?

    Please fess up now. ASAP.

  • Hmmm – “A one-year contract worth $1.2 million was signed with Cohen in February 2017. ” Correct me if I’m wrong but this rather ups the ante from the earlier post about 4 – $99,980 payments. Then our scribe breaks “last November, several lawyers from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office approached Novartis regarding the agreement with Cohen. ”
    Is any of this criminal on the face, no, but is it “more than odd?” Having … “dialogued heartily” for weeks once over a $5K extension to a PO, “bizarre” sounds more on the mark. (Note: Not with NVS but another pharma company. And they tend to cancel not just let things run out.)

  • A “fixer”? This is news? A lawyer calls himself a fixer? Isn’t that what lawyers do? Fix things? So if you’re a lawyer you shouldn’t promote yourself as someone who gets results for fear you’ll be too good for some pouty person doesn’t like who you represent. By the way, where’s the collusion? Still waitin’

    • Don, we already know Mueller is a fake. Keep you racism card in your deck along with your disdain for the religious. It’s all you have and its PLAYE.

    • F.Akenews Mueller is the bad guy in all this? Disdain for the religious? Of course there is disdain for the religious. They worship a human sacrifice and think they are getting rewarded for it by an invisible guy in the sky. Then they push for laws based on the invisible guy in the sky. INSANE!

  • The employee could not explain why Novartis would have agreed to a deal with a lawyer with no background in health care and without deep Washington ties. The extent to which Novartis conducted any due diligence into Cohen or his track record as a Trump insider and Washington player is uncertain. Cohen and Jimenez could not be reached for comment.—-so no proof of any actual wrongdoing?

    • No, no proof of any wrongdoing……yet. Just smoke, like the other 800,000 smoldering smoky events between Trump, his team, Russians, corporations, porn stars, lobbyists, Jared’s family peddling his name, emoluments, friends/family hires, and a whole lot more. I am sure there is nothing to a single solitary smoky event and it’s all a big witch hunt, LOL.

    • Not much in the way of doing at all he received $1.3m for being a friend of Donald. Still, despite getting nothing you got to feel that Novartis were better off than the customers of Trump University who were urged to borrow up to the max in order to get their nothing.

    • AHAHAHA…you’re hanging all your hopes on this guy.

      Avenatti’s report includes a section listing “possible fraudulent and illegal financial transactions” involving Trump’s lawyer. One of the payments is a $4,250 wire transfer from a Malaysian company, Actuarial Partners, to a bank in Toronto.

      The other is a $980 transfer from a Kenyan bank to Bank Hapoalim — the largest bank in Israel.

      Zainal Kassim, a representative for Actuarial Partners, told The Daily Caller News Foundation Avenatti’s report is a case of mistaken identity. He forwarded an email the falsely accused Michael Cohen sent to Avenatti requesting the lawyer “correct this error forthwith and make it known publicly” there is no connection to Trump’s Michael Cohen.

  • Impressive reporting. Thank you.

    “Rather than attempt to cancel the contract, the company allowed it to lapse early in 2018 and not run the risk of ticking off the president. ‘It might have caused anger,’ this person said.” Fills in the blanks I had, personally.

  • The real question is, how did mob lawyer Cohen KNOW that Jimenez would be amenable to this obvious shake-down? He wasn’t Cold Calling – he already had some kind of leverage… Next call to Jimenez or his laywers, Ed!

    • My question exactly. Why would Jimenez take a call from Cohen in the first place?

    • May I observe, Observer, that your suggestion was already taken – at least in part? (From para4) “Cohen and Jimenez could not be reached for comment.”

    • If Cohen was taking in this kind of money from Novartis and then ATT why did he have to mortgage his house to pay hush money to Stormy where did all that cash go? You don’t suppose……? Oh no! Not possible ! Right?

    • @Darwin cannell – “Why did he have to ….”? The Stormy payment was rendered in OCT 2017. The NVS and ATT funds did not begin to arrive until late Q1 2017. To spend what you don’t have (?yet?), you would need to be ‘the King of Debt.’

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