Jeff Bezos’ top personal security consultant has questioned his mistress’ brother as part of the probe into how the couple’s text messages wound up in the hands of the National Enquirer.
Gavin de Becker, the Amazon chief’s longtime personal security consultant and the point person for the investigation, confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that his probe has scrutinized Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos mistress Lauren Sanchez and a personal and business associate of Trumpworld figures including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes.
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast first reported the existence of that investigation, which is taking place independent of Amazon and being funded by Bezos personally. Three sources familiar with the inquiry said it was increasingly probable that whoever leaked the text messages to the Enquirer, which ran a conspicuously large 12-page spread on Bezos’ affair, harbored political animosity towards Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.
Michael Sanchez’s name bubbled up on the British celebrity news and gossip website Popbitch last week in the context of the Enquirer story. Stone also mentioned Sanchez in an interview with conspiracy theory site Infowars on Wednesday that sought to preempt The Daily Beast’s reporting by falsely claiming that it would accuse him of conspiring with the Trump administration to hack Bezos’ phone.
Asked about Sanchez, de Becker, a former Reagan administration appointee and Justice Department adviser, told The Daily Beast, “Michael Sanchez has been among the people we’ve been speaking with and looking at.” De Becker would not elaborate on their conversations, and stressed that the investigation is ongoing. But he confirmed that “strong leads point to political motives.”
According to two sources familiar with de Becker’s investigation, Sanchez has suggested that the “deep state,” and specifically the National Security Agency, may have been responsible for obtaining text messages from Bezos’ phone. Investigators have not taken that possibility seriously.
Sanchez declined to comment for this story.
By his own account, Sanchez is not your typical conservative. He’s described himself as “a gay man, a Hispanic, a West Hollywood homeowner and strong supporter of Trump.” He appears to share Trump’s antipathy to significant segments of the political press, occasionally using his Twitter account to deride “fake news” critical of the president.
Stone confirmed his association with Sanchez in text messages with The Daily Beast on Wednesday evening. “I do know Michael Sanchez—very good guy,” he wrote. Stone proceeded to deny that he hacked Bezos’ phone. When The Daily Beast pointed out that it had never suggested or asked if he had, Stone replied, “You are busted. You are not a journalist. No one believes anything you write.”
According to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Stone and Sanchez were in touch about the National Enquirer story in the days after it ran—and in the days before Stone was arrested by the FBI and charged with seven criminal counts related to the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Those documents show that Sanchez was also in contact with another figure caught up in the Russia investigations, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Page told The Daily Beast that he and Sanchez have a personal and professional relationship. “Michael is a friend and his agency, Axis Management, has represented me in the past,” he said in a text message. Page also said that Sanchez had “arranged my appearance at Politicon in L.A. last October.” Page declined to go into further detail when asked about the last time that he spoke to Sanchez.
Page and Sanchez were indeed pictured together at Politicon in October, along with another former Sanchez client, one-time Trump-boosting commentator and campaign-trail ally Scottie Nell Hughes. Hughes settled a lawsuit with Fox News last year after alleging she was raped by Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, charges Payne and the network have denied.
During that lawsuit, emails between Hughes and Payne were leaked to the press, including to Radar Online, a publication owned by the same parent company as the National Enquirer.