T

he top lawyer at Novartis is stepping down as part of the fallout from the scandal over payments made by the drug maker to President Trump’s personal attorney. Felix Ehrat, 61, who was general counsel and a member of the Novartis executive committee since 2011, is retiring and will be succeeded by the chief risk and compliance officer, according to a statement released in conjunction with an investor meeting.

His departure follows the disclosure last week that Novartis paid $1.2 million in monthly installments to Michael Cohen’s Essential Consultants for access to the new Trump administration, as part of a one-year contract signed in February 2017. Cohen approached former Novartis chief executive Joe Jimenez, who authorized the deal, even though Cohen is not a registered lobbyist or an expert in health care matters.

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