Could anyone forget Trump’s promise to drain the swamp?
Nothing is more illustrative of the corruption that defines the swamp than payments/bribes to people who have political influence. Nobody is closer to Trump than his “fixer” Michael Cohen.
Novartis admitted last week that it had paid Cohen $1.2 million ($100,000 per month) for a one-year contract after he promised the company access to the president and insights on Trump’s thinking on health care policy.
The head lawyer at Novartis has now resigned. He didn’t resign after the payments were made to Michael Cohen. He resigned after it became known that he made the payments.
Novartis () said its general counsel, Felix Ehrat, had decided to retire from his position in the “context of discussions” surrounding the payments to Cohen.
Cohen’s company Essential Consultants had a one-year $1.2 million contract with Novartis during the beginning of the Trump administration.
“Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error,” Ehrat said in a statement. “As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end.”
Novartis said its representatives met with Cohen in March 2017. After that meeting, the company determined he wouldn’t be useful and decided not to engage with him further. However, Novartis also said it continued to pay Cohen $100,000 a month until February 2018. It said the payments continued because the contract could not have been terminated.
The next logical question is how could Novartis afford to make these $100,000.00 monthly payments to Cohen for essentially nothing in return. Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies by both market capitalization and sales. In 2011 it was the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company. An IMS Health report ranked Novartis as the biggest pharmaceutical company in 2012. The company has over 220 subsidiaries and ~133,400 employees in operation throughout the world. Novartis products are sold in over 180 countries, reaching over 1 billion people worldwide. In 2017 Novartis earned $7.7 billion on revenue of $49.1 billion.
It seems that Michael Cohen not only fixed things for Donald Trump, but he also fixed things for himself…like his retirement.