The publisher of National Enquirer has said it coordinated with Donald Trump's presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money, an allegation that places the president and his inner circle in further legal peril.
The parent company of the right-wing tabloid National Enquirer has admitted it helped bury salacious stories about President Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election, federal prosecutors in NY revealed Wednesday.
While sentencing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, a federal judge made a statement that could bring Donald Trump that much closer to being indicted. According to documents filed in the AMI matter, Cohen promised that AMI would be reimbursed for buying her story.
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The statement also added that the U.S. Attorney's Office has agreed not to prosecute American Media Inc.so long as the company continues to cooperate with the related investigation.
Payments made as part of a presidential campaign must be disclosed to federal election regulators, according to U.S. election law.
A spokesperson for AMI declined to comment.
"Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories". "AMI further admitted that its principal goal in making the payment was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election". The deal marks a change of allegiances for one of Trump's biggest supporters. "AMI has made various personnel from AMI available for numerous interviews; engaged outside counsel to ensure the integrity of its compliance with and responses to subpoenas; and responded to numerous requests from prosecutors for various specific items of information". Cohen and AMI executives arranged the payments, which amounted to AMI's purchase of McDougal's story rights to prevent other outlets from publishing those details.