Novartis' top lawyer resigns in wake of Trump scandal

Novartis' top lawyer resigns in wake of Trump scandal

Last week, Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter that Novartis and US telecoms giant AT&T had used the services of Cohen's firm Essential Consultants - the same company used to make the payment to Daniels.

Novartis announced Felix Ehrat's decision to retire Wednesday in the "context of decisions" surrounding the controversial payments.

Ehrat said that the $1.2 million in payments to Cohen's firm, which he co-signed, were an "error", even though he said they were legally in order.

"As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end", said Ehrat, who will officially leave June 1.

Cohen's company Essential Consultants had a one-year $1.2 million contract with Novartis during the beginning of the Trump administration.

The payments became public knowledge after Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn actress Stephanie Clifford, who is better known as Stormy Daniels, published details of an account used by Cohen to pay Clifford $130,000 so that she would keep quiet about her affair with the USA president. It was recently revealed that Novartis made monthly payments, totalling $1.2m, seeking guidance on how the Trump administration might approach USA healthcare policies.

Shannon Thyme Klinger, now Chief Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer, will be appointed Group General Counsel, effective June 1, 2018. After the payments were exposed last week, Novartis has fought hard to distance Narasimhan from the scandal, insisting he was not involved in the contract.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, told NBC last week that Novartis was among several firms that paid large sums of money to a company controlled by Cohen.

According to Bloomberg, Jimenez's successor, Vas Narasimhan, has told Novartis's managers that the company needs to "rethink its approach to the use of consultants and lobbying firms".

Novartis said its representatives met with Cohen in March 2017. He said the company continued to pay him because it feared litigation over a premature termination of the agreement.

"That was a mistake", said Jimenez who admitted the firm should have "parted ways" with Cohen as soon as it became apparent he could not help. In an interview with Bloomberg, Jimenez said he hired Cohen thinking the lawyer had stopped working for Trump and turned to selling "his expertise in terms of knowing the personalities that were in the administration".

Novartis shareholders have urged Narasimhan to exert more "moral influence" over perceived ethical shortcomings that Jimenez in 2016 blamed on a "results-oriented" sales culture and some bad actors. A trial for another USA kickbacks case is scheduled for 2019.

Related Articles

  • How to Watch the OnePlus 6 Launch Event Without Actually Being There

    How to Watch the OnePlus 6 Launch Event Without Actually Being There

    Reports in the past suggest the dual cameras will include a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 20-megapixel secondary sensor. There are multiple ways to catch the live-streaming of the launch event and here are some of the links to watch the same.
    Texas officers in Washington for Peace Officer Memorial Day

    Texas officers in Washington for Peace Officer Memorial Day

    Tragically, 128 police officers died in the line of duty nationwide previous year . The event honored 2017 Texas Fallen Peace Officers that died in the line of duty.
    Buildings being dismantled at NK nuke test site

    Buildings being dismantled at NK nuke test site

    South Korea has said Kim has genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits. But there are lingering doubts about whether Kim will ever agree to fully relinquish his nukes.
  • Bucks, Budenholzer Reach Agreement to Become Head Coach

    Bucks, Budenholzer Reach Agreement to Become Head Coach

    The New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns also met with the former Hawks coach, before agreeing to terms with their new head coaches. The report comes just hours after it was reported that Budenholzer met with Bucks star Giannis Antetokoumpo earlier in the day.
    Explosion being probed as intentional

    Explosion being probed as intentional

    Mary McWilliams of San Clemente tells the Orange County Register that she saw two women with burns stagger out of the building. By mid-afternoon, officials said they did not believe there was any further threat to the community.
    Germany reveal provisional squad for 2018 World Cup

    Germany reveal provisional squad for 2018 World Cup

    Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has been called up even though he is now sidelined by a groin injury. However, Bayern's goalkeeper will be monitored during the training camp.
  • Green Bay Packers Not Expected To Sign Dez Bryant

    Green Bay Packers Not Expected To Sign Dez Bryant

    When the dallas cowboys waived Dez Bryant , most National Football League fans thought he would pick up with a new team quickly. Bryant would be an interesting fit with the Packers - Graham, Dez and Davante Adams would be pretty hard to defend.
    North Carolina: Teachers 'Raleigh' for Salary Increase

    North Carolina: Teachers 'Raleigh' for Salary Increase

    More than 15,000 teachers signed up to attend the rally, but it's unclear how many will take the day off and come to the march. Recent marches in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and now North Carolina, all right-to-work states, confirm my worry.
    Lost Asteroid 2010 WC9 to come close to Earth on May 15

    Lost Asteroid 2010 WC9 to come close to Earth on May 15

    On May 8, 2018 - nearly eight years later - astronomers discovered an asteroid and gave it the temporary designation ZJ99C60. While the asteroid will be fairly close to Earth, the 200-400-foot rock won't be close enough to be seen by the naked eye.
  • Wall Street stocks slide as Treasury yields surge

    Wall Street stocks slide as Treasury yields surge

    Bond prices fell, sending yields higher, after the government reported a solid increase in retail sales last month. Treasuries were a key factor for the market Tuesday as investors watched 10-year Treasury yields climb to 3.08%.
    California children tortured 'for sadistic purposes'

    California children tortured 'for sadistic purposes'

    She also said her house was in a tumultuous condition because she had "ripped it apart" in order to look for her missing son. Police have removed 10 children from a squalid Northern California home and charged their parents with neglect and torture.
    N Korea cancels talks with South Korea and warns US

    N Korea cancels talks with South Korea and warns US

    In return, the USA would aid the North Korean economy by lifting sanctions and allowing private capital to flow into the country. North Korea would then become, a "nuclear power wrapped around paper called 'denuclearization, '" concluded Thae.