Advertisement

National Enquirer publisher admits it paid hush money before Trump's election

By
Ed Adamczyk
President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York City on December 12, 2018. Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes that included making illegal payoffs during the 2016 campaign to keep a porn star and a Playboy model silent about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump.Magazine publisher American Media inc. admitted its involvement in the hush money scheme on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York City on December 12, 2018. Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes that included making illegal payoffs during the 2016 campaign to keep a porn star and a Playboy model silent about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump.Magazine publisher American Media inc. admitted its involvement in the hush money scheme on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- American Media Inc., admitted on Wednesday it paid hush money to silence women allegedly sexually involved with President Donald Trump.

The company, which publishes the National Enquirer and other titles, will avoid prosecution by specifying that it worked with Trump's campaign to buy the silence of women prior to the 2016 election. Although their names are not mentioned in Wednesday's Department of Justice letter of understanding, they have self-identified themselves as adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Advertisement

AMI admitted that its plan to pay the two women, and then suppress the stories by not publishing them, was to avoid a potential scandal from influencing the election. McDougal was paid $150,000 for her story, it said. The Justice Department said that at least one Trump campaign member joined Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in an August 2015 meeting with AMI CEO and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker to discuss the suppression of negative news about Trump.

Cohen received a three-year prison sentence Wednesday after pleading guilty to nine federal counts for, among other crimes, his involvement in the AMI cover-up.

The New York City prosecutors' reference to unidentified campaign staff suggests that the number of Trump associates in legal trouble is growing, NBC News reported. AMI will avoid prosecution by continued cooperation with investigators.

Latest Headlines