Home / world / Novartis lawyer Feliz Ehrat steps down over cost to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Novartis lawyer Feliz Ehrat steps down over cost to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Swiss pharmaceutical big Novartis on Wednesday introduced the retirement of its prime authorized skilled, as he apologized in an announcement for funds made by the agency to Donald Trump’s private lawyer Michael Cohen. The announcement comes after Novartis was dragged into the scandal over Cohen’s cost of $130,000 to grownup movie actress Stormy Daniels simply days earlier than the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels or understanding something about that cost however his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged the U.S. president had in reality reimbursed Cohen for the payoff.

Final week, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter that Novartis and U.S. telecom big AT&T had used the providers of Cohen’s agency Important Consultants — the identical firm used to make the cost to Daniels.

On Might 9, Novartis mentioned it signed a one-year contract for $100,000 a month with the agency in February 2017, searching for recommendation on the brand new administration’s public well being coverage.

On Wednesday, Novartis’s common counsel Feliz R. Ehrat apologized for making the deal.

“Though the contract was legally so as, it was an error. As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take private accountability to carry the general public debate on this matter to an finish,” Ehrat mentioned in an announcement issued by the agency.

Ehrat will probably be changed ranging from June 1 by Shannon Thyme Klinger, who’s presently Novartis’s ethics, danger and compliance officer.

The shake-up follows a spate of hassle for the pharmaceutical behemoth in Greece, the place the agency is accused of creating illicit payouts to decision-makers and docs between 2006 and 2015 to safe inflated costs for its merchandise though cheaper options have been accessible.

The case is underneath examination by the Greek and US. authorities.

In a seven-page memo launched on Twitter final week, Avenatti mentioned AT&T paid Important Consultants a complete of $200,000 in a sequence of $50,000 funds, courting from 2017 to early this yr. 

CBS Information has reviewed monetary paperwork that seem to assist Avenatti’s account of the transactions.  

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Related Press contributed to this report.

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