AT&T payments to Trump lawyer more than reported: source

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AT&T Inc paid Essential Consultants, a company set up by U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, more than the $200,000 that came to light late on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

Payments by AT&T were described on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, who also said a company owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and other corporations had paid Essential Consultants for certain services.

Avenatti’s document said that AT&T paid Essential Consultants $50,000 in October, November and December of 2017, and another $50,000 in January of 2018, making a total of $200,000.

AT&T confirmed those payments as described by Avenatti, saying they were aimed at gaining “insights” into the new administration.

However, the contract was for a year, the source told Reuters, meaning AT&T paid more than $200,000 to Cohen’s company.

A full year contract for $50,000 per month would total $600,000 for the year. The source declined to give a total for the payments made by AT&T to Cohen’s company.

Shares of AT&T were down 1 percent at $31.37.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bill Rigby

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