Trump’s embattled lawyer allegedly used a shell company called Essential Consultants LLC to pay hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her from speaking about her affair with the president. But that shell company’s financial dealings are beginning to cause controversy beyond the Daniels-Trump saga. As the New York Times reports, Cohen’s company allegedly received payments totaling at least $4.4 million shortly before Trump was elected president and continuing until January of this year. Among the companies sending money to Essential Consultants LLC’s account:
- Columbus Nova: An American investment firm, whose biggest client is a company controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, sent $500,000 to Essential Consultants LLC.
- Novartis: The Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant sent four payments of $99,980 each between October 2017 and January 2018.
- Korea Aerospace Industries: sent $150,000 last November.
- AT&T: The U.S. telecoms giant sent four payments totaling $200,000 between October 2017 and January 2018.
It is important to note that the Times points out that at this time it is unclear whether or not any of the transactions were improper–and all could very well be completely legal. That being said, the optics don’t look good for any of the companies involved with Cohen’s contentious LLC, considering many of the companies have U.S. business interests that would benefit from a good relationship with the president.