Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tabloid Talks to Prosecutors About Trump's Campaign Plans

Tabloid Talks to Prosecutors About Trump's Campaign Plans

Pecker met with Cohen "and at least one other member of the campaign" in August of 2015, according to the non-prosecution agreement, which was struck with prosecutors from the office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

Prosecutors' reference to unidentified campaign staff suggests that the number of Trump associates in legal trouble is still expanding.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan said American Media Inc. was given a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for admitting that it worked "in concert" with the Trump campaign facilitate an illicit $150,000 pre-election hush payment to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who had threatened to go public with claims she had sex with the Trump in 2006.

At the time, AMI insisted that it "has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump".

"Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories". Cohen received a three-year prison sentence Wednesday in part for his involvement in the payments. Federal prosecutors with the SNDY have alleged Trump directed Cohen to carry out campaign finance violations.

Under terms of its September 20 agreement with the feds, AMI admitted that the payment to McDougal should have been reported to the Federal Election Commission because it was "made for purposes of influencing an election and in coordination or at the request of a candidate or campaign". "It's a critical admission because, if true, it transforms the payment into a criminal violation as opposed to simply a private transaction".

In April, ABC News reported that a search warrant executed by federal investigators at Cohen's home, office and hotel room for documents and records belonging to Cohen included specific mentions of "AMI", according to two sources familiar with the warrant.

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The U.S. attorneys also argue that Cohen continues to try to minimize the extent of the crimes to which he has pleaded guilty. It added that Cohen described the "circumstances" surrounding the preparation of his false testimony to Congress.

AMI chairman David Pecker is a longtime friend of Trump's, and the Enquirer was one of Trump's most reliable and enthusiastic media boosters during the campaign.

Pecker has been a key witness in the investigation of Cohen.

From the onset of AMI's deal with McDougal, Cohen had promised to reimburse the company for the payment.

NEW YORK-The parent company of magazines including the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and In Touch has admitted to engaging in a journalistically dubious practice known as "catch-and-kill" in order to help Donald Trump become president of the United States.

Assuming AMI's continued compliance with the agreement, the Office has agreed not to prosecute AMI for its role in that payment.

In August 2015, Pecker met with Cohen and "at least one other member" of the Trump campaign, according to the agreement.

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