‘National Enquirer’ Publisher AMI Reaches Non-Prosecution Deal With Prosecutors In Michael Cohen Case
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors revealed they have reached a non-prosecution deal with National Enquirer‘s parent company, American Media Inc. in the investigation into Michael Cohen‘s hush money payments.
As part of the agreement — which was struck in the Southern District of New York — tabloid publisher AMI confessed to paying $150,000 to help President Donald Trump‘s campaign by stopping former Playboy model Karen McDougal‘s allegations of having had an affair with the former Apprentice host (between 2006 and 2007) from being publicly revealed during the 2016 election.
In July, Cohen — Trump’s former personal lawyer — was revealed to have secretly recorded a conversation between Trump and himself in 2016 about plans for a payment to McDougal. Parts of the tape were released just days later. It was also discovered during the summer that the tabloid the National Enquirer sent stories about Trump to Cohen before publishing them.
The non-prosecution deal from Wednesday noted that Pecker met with Cohen and one or more of Trump’s associates in August 2015.
“At the meeting, Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided,” the agreement read. “Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories.”
In April, McDougal and AMI settled a lawsuit in which she claimed to have been silenced over her alleged affair with Trump. Although AMI purchased the exclusive rights to McDougal’s story about Trump in August 2016, the company never published the story but paid $150,000 for the piece and vowed to use its various news outlets to promote the former Playboy playmate, who reportedly now works as a fitness specialist.
Cohen was also sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday for multiple charges related to his hush money payments and his false statements to Congress, among other crimes.