Feds Agreed Not To Pursue National Enquirer Parent Over Trump Hush Money

National Enquirer Parent Admits to Making Karen McDougal Payments to Help Trump in 2016 Election

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.

As part of the agreement, AMI admitted to making a payment of US$150,000 ($207,000) in cooperation with members of Trump's presidential campaign in order to prevent former Playboy model Karen McDougal's claims of an affair with Trump from being made public during the 2016 race. (AMI)-the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid-after the publisher told prosecutors that a $150,000 hush payment was made "in concert with" the election campaign of President Donald Trump.

The women alleged affairs with Trump, and federal prosecutors say the payments were made at Trump's direction.

Karen McDougal on a Playboy cover.

Cohen on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison during a sentencing hearing in which he claimed he acted out of "blind loyalty" to Trump.

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

Trump, with his flair for self-promotion, has long cultivated friendships with media personalities - he has expressed his admiration for Rupert Murdoch on numerous occasions - and Pecker was among them.

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"Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories". To carry out the deal, Cohen incorporated a shell company called Resolution Consultants LLC.

AMI declined to comment Wednesday.

The invoice attributed the $125,000 payment to an "agreed upon flat fee for advisory services", when in fact it was to ensure McDougal's silence at a pivotal moment in the campaign.

"Absolutely", Goldman replied. "Now we know that there were communications between Pecker and Trump related to what is really a scheme".

The agreement raises the possibility that Trump's presidential campaign, which is now making early preparations for his re-election bid, could be indicted for violating campaign finance laws through its involvement in the payout. He also instructed Cohen to tear up the paperwork, prosecutors said.

Wednesday's development brought fresh attention to "catch-and-kill", in which a publication pays for exclusive rights to someone's story with no intention of publishing it, either as a favour to a celebrity subject or to gain leverage over the person.

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".

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