National Enquirer In-House Safe Contained Evidence Of Trump-Porn Star Payoffs: AP

The National Enquirer maintained an in-house safe containing evidence of hush money payments and other “damaging stories” against President Trump, which were withheld from publication leading up to the 2016 US election, according to AP – citing “several people familiar with the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to non-disclosure agreements.

The safe was described as a “great source of power” for CEO David Pecker – a longtime friend of both Donald Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen. 

The detail came as several media outlets reported on Thursday that federal prosecutors had granted immunity to National Enquirer chief David Pecker, potentially laying bare his efforts to protect his longtime friend Trump.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty this week to campaign finance violations alleging he, Trump and the tabloid were involved in buying the silence of a porn actress and a Playboy model who alleged affairs with Trump. –AP

The records linked to Trump were stored along with “similar documents pertaining to other celebrities’ catch-and-kill deals,” in which the Enquirer would purchase the exclusive rights to salacious stories, only to bury them in order to protect the accused. 

Once the details of former Playboy model Karen McDougal were published by the Wall Street Journal shortly before the 2016 US election, the damaging Trump stories were reportedly removed from the National Enquirer’s safe out of fear they might be used against American Media, Pecker and Dylan Howard – the company’s chief content officer. 

Pecker was granted immunity by federal prosecutors, as reported on Thursday by the Wall Street Journal

The American Media CEO reportedly gave prosecutors details about the president’s knowledge of payments former Trump attorney Michael Cohen made to women alleging affairs with Trump – including former Playboy model Karen MacDougal – was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer, which is owned by American Media, for her story about an alleged affair with Trump. The Enquirer sat on the story in a practice known as “catch and kill.”  

In exchange for immunity, Mr. Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc., has met with prosecutors and shared details about payments Mr. Cohen arranged in an effort to silence two women who alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump, including Mr. Trump’s knowledge of the deals, some of the people said. Prosecutors have indicated that Mr. Pecker won’t be criminally charged for his participation in the deals, the people said. –WSJ

Pecker’s input “appears to have informed the charging documents made public on Tuesday as part of Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations tied to the payments.” 

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In a recorded conversation released in July, Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing purchasing the rights to McDougal’s claim. Cohen can be heard telling Trump that he needs “to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” likely referring to American Media Inc. head David Pecker.

“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.

Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay.” Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no, no” but it is not clear what is said next.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, contested Cohen attorney Lanny Davis’s interpretation and released the Trump team’s version of the transcript, which contradicts Davis. While Davis said Trump was suggesting the two pay cash, Giuliani’s version of the transcript says Trump is saying, “Don’t pay with cash…check.”

The search warrant carried out by the public corruption unit of the Manhattan federal attorney’s office seeks information about Karen McDougal, an ex-Playboy model who claims she carried on a nearly yearlong affair with Mr. Trump shortly after the birth of his son in 2006. Ms. McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company, whose chief executive is a friend of Mr. Trump’s. –NYT

Looks like the narrative will be that Trump’s payment to keep these stories quiet affected the outcome of the 2016 election, as the left is sure to say the billionaire playboy who bragged about grabbing pussy on a secret tape would have suffered irreputable damage to his reputation and lost the election. 

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Author: Tyler Durden