Novartis GC Ehrat steps down over 'error' in Trump lawyer agreement

Getty Images

The top lawyer at Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis stepped down on Wednesday following revelations that the company made payments to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels or knowing anything about that payment but his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged the USA president had in fact reimbursed Cohen for the payoff.

The Novartis ouster comes as AT&T forced its top Washington, D.C. executive into retirement last week, following fallout from revelations that the telecom giant paid Cohen $600,000 a year ago.

Over the course of a year, Novartis paid Cohen $100,000 a month to gain insight into the Trump administration's health policy-making plans, namely its efforts related to the Affordable Care Act.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team also reached out to Novartis last November over its contract with Essential. Ron Wyden, top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, has called the transactions part of a "pay-to-play scheme" and initiated an investigation.

A statement from Novartis said Ehrat was retiring because of questions in the United States about the company's former agreement with Essential Consultants, which is owned by Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Ehrat commented: 'Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error. "As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end", Ehrat said in a statement issued by the firm.

Novartis has sought to distance Narasimhan from the contract, saying he had nothing to do with it.

This is the latest in a string of reputation blows to the company, which has also faced allegations bribery in Greece and South Korea and data-tampering in Japan.

Novartis shareholders have urged Narasimhan and other executives to exert more "moral influence" over perceived ethical shortcomings that Jimenez in 2016 blamed on a "results-oriented" sales culture and some bad actors.

On May 16, Novartis's general counsel Feliz R. Ehrat apologised for making the deal.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Sweden announce WC squad without Ibra surprise
However, the 36 said on his social media handle that he will come out of retirement to gatecrash his country's World Cup squad. Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (Copenhagen), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea).

CCTV allegedly captures man climbing into girl's bedroom before indecent assault
Two minutes later, he can be seen climbing back out, carefully closing the window behind him before fleeing. Anyone with CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area in the past two weeks is urged to hand it into police .

Pope says 'very worried' by Mideast violence
Paul was uncompromising in ministry, saying that service without compromise is essential for pastors wishing to find peace. He explained that is symbolized the fire of faith passing from the godparents and parents to the child.

BSEB Bihar Board 12th Result 2018 Expected Around May 25 at biharboard
A huge number of candidates who are studying the same appeared for the exam across various examination centers in Bihar. First, it was slated to declare the class 12 board examination results on May 10 which was then postponed till May 14.

Netgear launches Arlo Security Light System
In substitution, the lights can also be used with a small optional solar panel, though it has to be purchased separately. That lighting effect can be triggered by motion picked up by a light or by one of the Arlo security cameras.

Other news