Makan Delrahim, the chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division, for his part has argued the government's position is the deal would "mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy". AT&T disagreed, sending the battle into a federal trial.
Novartis also said Cohen approached them and offered his consulting services. AT&T said it has been looking for consultants who could help it understand the president's approach to regulatory reform at the Federal Communications Commission, tax reform and antitrust enforcement - "specifically our Time Warner deal".
Avenatti has declined to reveal his sources for the information he released, several companies have now publicly confirmed their consulting deals with Cohen.
"This is actually the definition of 'draining the swamp".
The FBI raided Cohen's home and office in April, as part of a probe being conducted by NY federal prosecutors.
The $600,000 that flowed to Cohen from AT&T was the equivalent of 3.5 percent of the $16.8 million the company spent on lobbying in 2017, according to disclosure forms.
Murray's letter calls the company's contract with Cohen an attempt to develop "unvetted and unproductive relationships to try to sway government officials in its favor". Cohen was not discussed in Stephenson's meeting with Trump, according to a person familiar with that encounter.
Quinn did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Quinn was promoted to replace AT&T's longtime head of lobbying, James Cicconi, just before the company announced its merger with Time Warner. Payments to Cohen were approved by two executives in AT&T's public affairs office in Washington.More news: Steve Kerr compares 'Hampton 5' to Jordan-era Bulls
More news: AT&T paid Trump attorney Cohen for 'insights' on administration
More news: APC ward congress in Bayelsa was smooth, peaceful - Sylva
Though as he noted, he was never a registered lobbyist for AT&T. AT&T said it had "cooperated fully" with the inquiries.
Critics claim Rudy Giuliani's opinions are making a lot more problems for the president, while supporters say that the fellow member of Trump's legal workforce is shifting social media storyline; Foxnews subscribers Judy Miller along with Tammy Bruce unite the debate.
AT&T also provided new information about how the arrangement came about. CNN is owned by Time Warner.
AT&T has said it needs to buy Time Warner to compete with the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Google in the rapidly evolving world of video entertainment.
Is Giuliani media blitz helping or hurting President Trump?
"We didn't engage with them. AT&T has a lucrative business merger being blocked by Trump's Department of Justice".
But it was a clumsy effort in 2017 to find a foothold in Trump's new Washington that inadvertently pulled it into a sordid scandal involving hush money paid by the president's lawyer to a porn star.
Meanwhile, Novartis chief executive Vasant Narasimhan sent an email to employees Thursday calling the company's $1.2 million contract with Cohen a "mistake" and acknowledging that the revelation "was not a good day for Novartis". "My personal commitment to you is - we will do better", he wrote. "I was not involved with any aspect of this situation", Narasimhan wrote to employees, adding that it had been a hard day for himself and his family.