Novartis Top Lawyer Is Stepping Down After Cohen Payments

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The top lawyer for Swiss drugmaker Novartis is stepping down over payments the company made to President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Novartis announced Felix Ehrat's decision to retire Wednesday in the "context of decisions" surrounding the controversial payments.

He said in a statement, "Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error. ... I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end."

Novartis paid Cohen's company, Essential Consultants LLC, $1.2 million in exchange for insight into how to navigate the new administration after Trump took office.

That's the same firm Cohen used to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

Ehrat's replacement will take over June 1.