National Enquirer Publisher Granted Immunity In Cohen Case

david pecker immunity
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: US President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. He fielded questions from reporters about his comments on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and white supremacists. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Andrew Kerr on August 23, 2018

David Pecker, the head of the company that publishes the National Enquirer and longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was granted immunity for providing prosecutors information surrounding Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen coordinating hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc., was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in April around the same time the FBI raided Cohen’s home and seized thousands of documents and recordings.

Pecker’s cooperation with federal prosecutors appears to have been instrumental in forming the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to on Tuesday, according to The WSJ. Cohen also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bank fraud violations.

Cohen said he was directed by Trump to arrange hush-money payments in an effort silence the two women alleging affairs with the then-candidate for the purpose of influencing the election.

Both payments — a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal — involved American Media executives. Prosecutors said American Media purchased McDougal’s story at the behest of Cohen in August 2016, who promised to reimburse the company if it buried the story.

Trump repaid Cohen for the payment he made to Stormy Daniels, but he insisted during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday the arrangement did not violate campaign finance laws because the funds “did not come out of the campaign.”

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