Deal lets tabloid avoid United States charges over hush money in 2016 election
15 December, 2018, 08:51 | Author: Ted Wilson
Payments to those women amounted to campaign finance violations, federal prosecutors said.
It requires AMI to cooperate with federal prosecutors in any investigation. The company also agreed to train employees on election law standards and appoint a lawyer to vet future deals that may involve paying for stories about political candidates.
That's not to say there were lots and lots of women alleging affairs (we have no way of knowing at the moment) but it is to say that AMI - and its head David Pecker, a longtime friend of the President - may have helped bury other stories about Trump that were less than flattering.
According to prosecutors, AMI admitted that its $150,000 payment in August 2016 to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she'd had a 10-month affair with Trump, had been made in coordination with the Trump campaign and was meant to suppress allegations about the candidate.
Pecker reportedly received immunity in discussions with prosecutors investigating the McDougal payment.
From the onset of AMI's deal with McDougal, Cohen had promised to reimburse the company for the payment.
"Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories".
Pecker also directed a consultant to complete the transaction through "a company unaffiliated" with AMI, prosecutors said, a technique that presumably helped mask the transaction.
Scarborough said the president had legal exposure in so many investigations - the special counsel probe of his campaign ties to Russian Federation, alleged campaign finance violations and a variety of complaints against the Trump Organization - that he simply could not possibly beat every allegation against him.
Returning to Washington on Air Force One, Trump on April 6 for the first time answered questions about the reports of $130,000 in hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, issuing a blanket denial to reporters while saying they would "have to ask Michael Cohen". He also instructed Cohen to tear up the paperwork, prosecutors said.
The admissions by Cohen and AMI conflict with Trump's own evolving explanations.
The publisher admitted the so-called "catch and kill" deal for McDougal's story as part of an agreement with federal authorities that means it will not be charged for its part in the payout, prosecutors in Manhattan announced on Wednesday.
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Like Cohen, the tabloid publisher admitted it was trying to influence the election by protecting Mr Trump from a damaging story. Cohen's father, Maurice Cohen, who showed little emotion during the hearing, later told reporters: "My heart is ripped".
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