So companies saw Cohen as a key lobbyist. This is logical given that many companies with established channels in Washington sought to find new channels after the Trump election.
This wouldn’t be the first time an insider has sought to cash in on connections in the White House. It seems like there are a few of these people in every administration. It is part of the swamp ecosystem sadly.
From his perch in a law office on the 23rd floor of New York’s Rockefeller Center, Cohen pitched potential clients on his close association with Trump, noting that he still was the president’s lawyer, according to associates. He showed photos of himself with Trump and mentioned how frequently they spoke, even asking people to share news articles describing him as the president’s “fixer.”…
…Details that emerged this week reveal how Cohen quickly leveraged his role as Trump’s personal attorney, developing a lucrative sideline as a consultant to companies eager for insight into how to navigate the new administration. The rapid flow of millions of dollars to Cohen shows the rush by corporations – unable to rely on the influence of Washington’s traditional lobbying class in dealing with a new, populist outsider president – to lock in relationships with Trump’s inner circle…
…Novartis, a giant Swiss drugmaker, said it hired Essential Consultants because it “believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act,” said spokeswoman Sofina Mirza-Reid.
Novartis is one of the world’s largest drug companies, with a business deeply shaped by U.S. government actions – including drug approvals and drug reimbursements.
But after an initial meeting with Cohen, Novartis determined that he “would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further,” Mirza-Reid said. But she said the company could not terminate the contract “for cause,” and thus paid the agreed-upon $1.2 million.
This may indicate that Cohen was basically hustling for himself and was able to convince companies that he had more influence than he actually had.