Publisher of National Enquirer Subpoenaed in Michael Cohen Probe
Source: Wall Street Journal
Federal authorities have subpoenaed the publisher of the National Enquirer for records related to its $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for the rights to her story alleging an affair with Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investigators are probing any potential efforts by Cohen to suppress damaging information about Trump during the presidential campaign, including whether he coordinated with American Media to pay McDougal and then not publish her account, other people familiar with the matter said.
Prosecutors are examining whether the payment violated campaign-finance or other laws, the people said. American Media hasnt been accused of wrongdoing, and the company has denied paying McDougal to suppress her story.
Ms. McDougal has said publicly that she had a nearly yearlong affair with Mr. Trump beginning in 2006. The tactic of paying for a story but not publishing it is known in the tabloid world as catch and kill, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/publisher-of-national-enquirer-subpoenaed-in-michael-cohen-probe-1529529151?mod=mktw
The article also says that if investigators find evidence that Mr. Cohen coordinated with American Media to buy Ms. McDougals story to protect Trumps campaign, prosecutors could bring charges against Cohen and/or the company, since that is providing "something of value" for the campaign.
Trump and the head of the company, Pecker (if you can believe that name) are long time friends. He was known by employees in the company as a FOP (Friend of Pecker). The employees called him that because they weren't allowed to turn in articles that painted Trump in a bad light...because he was a FOP.
Republican Party sink even lower in their adulation of a moral degenerate who appears to be mentally unstable? Bannon is an anarchist who runs the show? Ain't it sad?
...since I spend a lot of time waiting in line, the last few issues of the Enquirer *seemed* to drop all the political stuff and delve back into celebrity gossip. Wonder if they were trying to lay low when they discovered they might be implicated.
Also gone are the Clinton smears... They may still be inside, but, I haven't even picked one up in decades.
The burden of proof that the Trump campaign benefited monetarily from the catch & kill tactic is difficult at best, and The Enquirer by necessity has a crack legal team.
I'd love to see the Trump lap dog and King of Fake News go the way of Gawker, if only so I don't have to suffer their headlines in line at the Dollar General, but I think they'll weather this one. Better men have tried to take them down, so to speak.
I imagine this subpoena for testimony may have more to do with bringing down Cohen than The Enquirer.
The campaign doesn't have to benefit "monetarily." It just has to receive something of value. If it does, it has to report that.
The real problem is that for a criminal charge, the burden of proof is reasonable doubt. It'd be hard to prove that Cohen actually collaborated w/the company to gain "something of value" for the campaign. They may be able to prove it as to Trump personally, or maybe they can't prove it's sufficiently "something of value."
I think the main benefit will be that the information may become accessible to McDougal in her CIVIL lawsuit, where the burden of proof is more lenient, and it is to prove something else. She only has to prove her case by a tilt of the scales, and she has to prove I guess that she was duped and deprived of her story being published, as well as fraud by Cohen. Nothing to do with the campaign.
But you never know what evidence ends up being important. If yu would have said back in the day that Capone would be imprisoned for tax evasion, you would have been laughed out of the room.
the National Enquirer, well known for lies, is one of the official KGOP republican propaganda spigots...
interfere in the elections of this country. I always thought the N.E. was worthless, strictly for entertainment only, and now that I hear that they actually interfered w/ the election in 2016 by buying up and suppressing stories negative to rump.
This is worse than just providing entertainment.
This is outright suppression of news critical to the 2016 elections, by using the N.E. to locate and identify news critical of rump and thus worthy of suppression via nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), and thus, this doesn't allow this paper to have 'freedom of the press' rights and the protections associated w/ such freedoms.
I'm not sure WHO buys yellow journalism rags like that. I've never even seen someone buy one. So whoever buys them, buys them in secret, I guess.
ridiculous claims and stuff such as UFOs, giant insects, etc. and quit buying (my partner and I).
I'm surprised to even see these papers in the grocery stores still today, I guess that there is still a market for celeb. news and the like, but I am over news such as the latest haircut by Cher, blah, blah, blah.
I guess life has a way of bringing one down to earth, thank goodness!
Yellow journalism IS truly fake news. It's not real. If there's a story about Cher's haircut, it probably isn't a real haircut or photo. It has stories of kangaroos giving birth to humans, aliens landing, & other false outrageous stories. None of it's real.
I did used to buy People Magazine, Cosmo, Glamour, things like that. Those contain gossip about celebs, esp People Mag.
I had to stop doing that, though...I was pending way too much money on impulse buys of magazines. Then, with the internet, there was no need. I had been a sucker for decorating magazines. I finally broke that habit.