David Pecker: Trump confidant and National Enquirer boss was given immunity in Cohen case

Date
Publication
The Guardian

David Pecker, chief executive of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, the tabloid magazine involved in hush-money deals to women ahead of the 2016 US presidential election, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of the investigation into Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, it emerged on Thursday. Although Cohen’s indictment does not name the Enquirer or its parent company, American Media Inc (AMI) – they are identified as “magazine 1” and “corporation 1” – both have previously been identified in press accounts and court records related to payments to Daniels and McDougal.

“The question is, was AMI was acting outside legitimate press function if it purchased a story with the intention of it not becoming public,” Brendan Fischer, federal reform director at the Campaign Legal Center, told the Guardian. “It’s hard to see how that is a legitimate function of the press.” Trevor Potter, former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and current CLC president, told the New York Times that AMI could now be in legal jeopardy. Such activity “is not like the action of a media company deciding what to cover and exercising editorial judgment”, Potter said.

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