National Enquirer Granted Immunity In Cohen Case – Donald Trump’s World Just Crumbled


Although former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to crimes including campaign finance law violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud, that’s not the last to be heard from the investigation. President Donald Trump’s legal vulnerability is continuing — and is now heightened, according to reports, thanks to testimony from David Pecker.

He’s the man behind the infamous tabloid the National Enquirer; he’s been allied with the man who is now president for years. Prosecutors in the Cohen case have reportedly granted him immunity and sought information he has on hush money payments that figured prominently in Cohen’s criminal case and guilty pleas.

American Media, Inc. — Pecker’s own company — was directly involved in one of those payments, providing a clear explanation for the immunity. Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter called the “agreement with Trump and his campaign to use corporate money to squelch information detrimental to Trump’s election” a “serious legal problem for AMI.”

During the 2016 U.S. election season, AMI paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story of an affair with Trump. The deal wasn’t made with actually running the story in mind — the company sought to bury McDougal’s account, instead. The $150,000 was hush money.

Considering its purpose to influence the 2016 U.S. elections in Trump’s favor, the money represented a secret — illegal — campaign contribution. In the time since, McDougal has regained the rights to her story — and Cohen has told a court that he carried on with the hush money efforts at the direction of Donald Trump. That bombshell rocked the political world this week — the president was formally implicated in serious crimes.

Pecker, who was reportedly subpoenaed some four months ago, has confirmed to investigators that Trump was in on the hush money payments Cohen made. In addition, he’s shared seemingly practical details of Cohen’s efforts to kill stories that could paint his then-boss in a bad light.

Besides the McDougal case, he also paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels covering an affair with the president. That case culminated in legal challenges to Cohen and Trump from Daniels and her lawyer Michael Avenatti earlier this year. Avenatti is still pressing on with those efforts having just recently made his renewed efforts to secure testimony from Trump and Cohen clear.

AMI was reportedly involved in the Daniels payment too, serving in an advisory capacity for Cohen and the Trump team at large instead of as a direct intermediary. Pecker helped identify stories that were candidates for getting bought up, according to prosecutors.

Now, the efforts they all undertook to protect Trump’s reputation during his rise to power have fallen apart. Talk of impeaching Donald Trump has risen to such levels that he himself has taken to responding. He has insisted — without evidence — that financial markets would crash if he got impeached. Actually, though, lots of interests would have a grand old time if that happened — and it could, if Democrats re-gain control of the U.S. House in the midterm elections later this year.

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