President Donald Trump had been sworn into office, and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, saw a golden opportunity. From his perch in a law office on the 23rd floor of New York’s Rockefeller Center, Cohen pitched potential clients on his close association with Trump, noting that he still was the president’s lawyer, according to associates. He showed photos of himself with Trump and mentioned how frequently they spoke, even asking people to share news articles describing him as the president’s “fixer.” “I’m crushing it,” he said, according to an associate who spoke to him in the summer of 2017. Details that emerged this week reveal how Cohen quickly leveraged his role as Trump’s personal attorney, developing a lucrative sideline as a consultant to companies eager for insight into how to navigate the new administration. The rapid flow of millions of dollars to Cohen shows the rush by corporations – unable to rely on the influence of Washington’s traditional lobbying class in dealing with a new, populist outsider president – to lock in relationships with Trump’s inner circle. The companies cited a range of reasons for hiring Cohen. A Korean defense company competing for a U.S. contract said it paid him $150,000 to advise it on accounting practices. A global pharmaceutical company said it paid him $1.2 million to provide insight into health-care policy – money it said it was required to keep paying even after concluding that Cohen had little to offer. A telecommunication company said it turned to him simply to better understand the Trump administration. Even the office in which he operated – which served as fulcrum of the newly created Michael D. Cohen & Associates – was a side benefit of his Trump affiliation. It was provided by the powerhouse legal and lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, which signed Cohen to a $500,000 deal in the wake of the 2016 election.Cohen’s business activities have been under investigation by both special counsel Robert Mueller III and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, which conducted raids on his office, home, hotel room and safe-deposit box on April 9. Both teams of investigators have scrutinized the intersection of Cohen’s work and the president’s interests – and how the activity flowed through Essential Consultants, a company Cohen formed in the fall of 2016 and used to pay hush money to an adult-film star who claimed she had an affair with Trump. Late last year, the special counsel sought information from two of the companies that hired Cohen, AT&T and Novartis, the companies said Wednesday, In the wake of Trump’s election, Cohen collected at least $2.2 million from corporate clients, according to figures confirmed by the companies. Selling access is common in Washington, but investigators could probe whether Cohen promised specific government actions in exchange for payments, which could cause him legal trouble. If he spent large amounts of time speaking to government officials on behalf of clients, investigators could also explore whether he should have registered as a lobbyist. They could also probe whether he made misstatements on bank records associated with his consulting company.