Earlier this week when Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti released the banking records of Michael Cohen, revealing he had received payments form AT&T and Novartis, many wondered whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller had knowledge. They weren’t left wondering for very long, though, because Novartis promptly confirmed it had already had discussions with Mueller. However, with that answered, the question then became how long had he known. Well, according to the response from AT&T, the answer may surprise you, as it appears he knew for a lot longer than most suspected.
Per Bloomberg: AT&T Inc. said it was contacted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team late last year for information about payments the company had made to President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer for “insights” into the White House.
AT&T needed government approval of its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc., which makes the payment to Michael Cohen of at least $200,000 for consulting even more curious.
“Our consulting contract with Cohen expired at the end of the year,” AT&T said in the statement, a day after the payments were revealed. “Since then, we have received no additional questions from the special counsel’s office and consider the matter closed.”
“Late last year,” huh? In other words, Mueller didn’t first learn about it from last month’s FBI raid into Cohen’s home and office. Also, if you’re paying close attention to the timeline here, this also means that Mueller has been looking into the Trump money trail flowing through Cohen well ahead of the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. And considering Mueller learned about these payments upon obtaining Cohen’s banking records, he must have subpoenaed those records sometime “late last year,” which means he more than likely already had enough evidence against Cohen at that time. Why else would a judge sign off on that subpoena?
Nevertheless, the point is this: While this news regarding Michael Cohen may seem like fresh breaking to us, it’s obviously not to Robert Mueller. Exactly how much more dirt Mueller has on Cohen remains to be seen, but no matter the amount, it’s safe to say it has all been in his possession for at least six months.