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National Enquirer boss spoke to NY officials on Trump hush money

por Roy Stott (2020-05-17)


National Enquirer boss David Pecker spoke with New York prosecutors as part of its probe of how the Trump Organization handled hush money payments to women who said they had affairs with Donald Trump.

quinceanera-12-1436488.jpgPecker, the CEO of Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., met with prosecutors in late October, CNN reported, and could give key details on conversations about a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and agreements made with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Cohen, who is serving three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to eight counts of campaign violations, tax fraud and bank fraud, is also cooperating with the New York District Attorney's office.  

Pecker's sit down indicates the state prosecutors are probing for any ties between President Trump and the hush money payments. A federal investigation - led by the Southern District of New York - into the issue was closed this summer.

National Enquirer boss David Pecker has spoken with New York prosecutors in their probe of how the Trump Organization handled hush money payments to women

President Trump has said he knew nothing of the payments

New York prosecutors are examining whether the Trump Organization falsified records relating to payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels

But state officials are also investigating if any New York state laws were broken, such as if the Trump Organization falsified records in an attempt to cover up the payments. 

AMI agreed to fully cooperate with federal prosecutors as part of a non-prosecution agreement. It's unclear what, if any, agreement the company has with New York prosecutors. 

Meanwhile, House Democrats are also seeking Trump's business records in conjunction with their investigations in the president's administration, business practices and taxes. Both sides are waiting to see if the Supreme Court will take up a lower court ruling that ordered Mazars LLP, Trump's longtime accounting firm, to comply with subpoena for the records.  

AMI was involved with payments to Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, both of whom said they had affairs with Trump, which he has denied.

In October 2016, an agent for Daniels contacted AMI and said she was willing to go public with her claim of an affair with Trump.

Pecker contacted Cohen, who negotiated a $130,000 hush money payment to the porn star. 

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Share 54 shares Cohen was reimbursed by the Trump Organization for a total of $420,000 to cover the payment, tax liabilities, teen videos and reward him with a bonus, legal filings show. 

Prosecutors claim that money was falsely recorded as legal expenses in their books. 

Cohen is the only person to be charged in connection with the payments and is the only person serving prison time in conjunction with them. 

AMI also made a $150,000 payment to McDougal as a 'catch and kill' move - which refers to the purchase of exclusive rights to a person's story, which is then never published.   

David Pecker talked with Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen about payments to women 

Karen McDougal, pictured at a Playboy Halloween Party in 2006, got a $150,000 payment from American Media Inc.

Trump has said he was not aware of any payments.

But when Cohen testified before Congress in February, he showed a check dated from August 2017 and signed by Trump for $35,000, which Cohen claimed showed the president personally reimbursed him for the 'cover-up.' 

And court papers released this summer showed Trump took part in phone calls with Cohen as the hush payments were being arranged. 

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller spun off the Cohen prosecution to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. 

Read more:
National Enquirer company chief David Pecker talking with New York prosecutors - CNNPolitics



ISSN: 1980-5861