Per The Associated Press, The National Enquirer kept a safe which contained documents on hush money payments and various other damaging stories the tabloid buried as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump leading up to the 2016 presidential election,
Several media outlets reported on Thursday that federal prosecutors granted immunity to National Enquirer chief David Pecker, who is the one responsible for burying all of the alleged damaging material to protect his longtime friend, Donald Trump.
Michael Cohen pleaded guilty this week to campaign finance violations alleging he, Trump and the tabloid were all involved in buying the silence of a porn actress and a Playboy model who had alleged affairs with Trump.
Per the AP, several people familiar with the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., spokeon the condition of anonymity because they had signed non-disclosure agreements, said the safe in question was a great source of “power” for Pecker.
It is also reported that the Trump records were just the tip of the iceberg, as those materials were stored alongside similar documents pertaining to other celebrities’ catch-and-kill deals, in which exclusive rights to people’s stories were bought with no intention of publishing to keep them out of the news. By keeping celebrities’ embarrassing secrets, the company positioned itself so that it could curry favors from celebrities and other prominent people.
Per the Associated Press:
Jerry George, a longtime Enquirer reporter who left the publication in 2013, said the practice of catch and kill took root at the Enquirer under Pecker. Though George had no personal knowledge of Trump-specific catch and kills, he said that AMI generally paid hush money only if it believed it had something to gain.
“It’s ‘I did this for you,’ now what can you do for me,” George said. “They always got something in return.”
This serves as additional proof that everyone who orbited Donald Trump for an extended period behaves like a movie mobster.