AT&T is planning to address a Monday letter authored by Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Richard Blumenthal who expressed a number of concerns regarding the company's decision to hire President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen last year for consultancy purposes, Dallas Business Journal reports, citing official confirmation from the telecom giant. AT&T has yet to clarify when it's planning to reply to the letter and whether it intends to do so in a public manner, though the three Senators may still publicize its response even if it ends up being given privately.
The Dallas, Texas-based wireless carrier hired Mr. Cohen early last year, around the time President Trump was officially appointed to the highest office in the country, taking the reins from President Obama on January 20, 2017. AT&T said it opted for the move in order to gain insights into the new Trump administration and the process of dealing with it, having explicitly denied asking for lobbying services or Mr. Cohen offering them at any point in their twelve-month relationship which ended last December and cost the firm $600,000. AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson is said to have internally referred to the hire as "a big mistake," having pushed out the firm's top lobbyist Bob Quinn into retirement over the matter, presumably due to the fact that Mr. Quinn was the one who oversaw and ultimately approved the hiring. AT&T has yet to clarify why it deemed Mr. Cohen fit to provide political consultancy services given how his only known ties to the current administration come down to his relationship with President Trump who himself is a newcomer to the public service segment.
The letter AT&T promised to address raises questions about AT&T's interest in federal policies such as the polarizing net neutrality repeal and corporate tax breaks enabled by Washington in recent months. Another attorney of President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, recently said the President wasn't aware that AT&T hired Mr. Cohen last year. AT&T is currently battling the federal government over its proposed purchase of Time Warner worth $85.6 billion, with a first-instance ruling on the matter being expected to arrive in several weeks.