AT&T confirmed the payments, but not the amount.
If Trump meant to reimburse Cohen for such payments, they should have been reported by the president on a 2017 financial disclosure form that required him to state his financial liabilities, Eisen said.
The company announced just before the election that it would merge with Time Warner Inc.
CNN reported Tuesday evening that Mueller's investigators have questioned Vekselberg about payments his company's United States affiliate made to Cohen.
Columbus Nova is an US investment arm of Renova Group, a conglomerate controlled by Vekselberg.
"Columbus Nova is a management company exclusively owned and controlled by Americans", Columbus Nova's attorney Richard Owens said in a statement Tuesday night.
It "was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration", he said. Cohen and Avenatti did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.
Owens said any suggestion that Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Cohen are false. "They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017". "Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else other than Columbus Nova's owners, were involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement".
"The only crime that's going on here is blackmail", Steyn said.
Investigators also asked Vekselberg about donations the head of his U.S. affiliate made to Trump's inaugural fund and campaign funds, sources said. "What was Michael Cohen's business?" Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud and election-law violations, among other matters, according to people briefed on the investigation. One source said the warrant also referenced an investigation into wire fraud and bank fraud. Cohen also used the same company to collect $250,000 after arranging payments in 2017 and 2018 by a major Republican donor, Elliott Broidy, to a former Playboy model he allegedly impregnated, according to news reports last month.
President Donald Trump will be "forced to resign" over claims a porn star was given $130,000 to keep quiet after having an affair with him, her lawyer has claimed. Stephen Ryan, a lawyer representing Cohen, declined to comment.
Speculating without offering proof, the Avenatti memo said, "It appears these funds may have replenished the account following the payment to Ms. Clifford".
There's a storm brewing, and Penthouse Pet of the Century Stormy Daniels is to blame (or praise, depending on your point of view). She is suing to negate the nondisclosure agreement she signed with Cohen, as well as suing both Cohen and Trump for defamation after they accused her of lying.
Norman Eisen, ethics chief under Trump predecessor Democrat Barack Obama, said any such payments would have constituted campaign contributions if they were meant to influence the election, even if they were also made with the 'partial motive of protecting the Trump family from embarrassment'.