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Already under investigation for a payment to a porn star, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney is facing intensifying legal and ethical scrutiny for selling his Trump World experience and views at a hefty price to companies that sought "insight" into the new president.Cohen's lawyers said late Wednesday that much of the information released by Avenatti was "completely inaccurate".Three companies confirmed the payments, including Novartis and AT&T, both saying Cohen's Essential Consultants was hired to help them understand the new president during the early days of the Trump administration.Some of the companies that engaged Cohen also had contact with Trump personally. The current CEO of Novartis attended a dinner with Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this year, though the company stressed that the agreement with Cohen's company predated his time as CEO and he was not involved with the deal.Cohen could enter these relationships without violating federal lobbying laws if he did not seek to influence Trump on the companies' behalf.Some who used to work for Trump defended Cohen's actions, assuming he did not break any regulations about lobbying.Avenatti alleged that the company made four $50,000 payments to Cohen totaling $200,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 .
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