Michael Cohen Promised Novartis CEO Access To Trump In Exchange For Cash

Michael Cohen promised one of the world’s biggest drugmakers access to Trump and the White House in exchange for $1.2 million.

STAT News reported, “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.”

One of the biggest drug companies in the world entered into a relationship with Michael Cohen for one reason. Cohen knows nothing about health care policy and he has no influence in DC. The only reason that anyone would sign a contract with Cohen is the hope that he can get access to Trump.

If this report is accurate, it is an example of textbook political corruption and graft. It could also lead to criminal liability for Trump if he were using Cohen as a front to sell access to the presidency, or if he did favors for Cohen’s clients in exchange for payment.

The money from the Russian oligarch to Cohen is getting most of the attention, but the Novartis agreement spells out the dynamic clearly. Cohen was selling access to Trump, and one suspects that the this is only beginning of what is yet to come.

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