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National Enquirer Publisher David Pecker Granted Immunity in Cohen Investigation

Federal prosecutors have granted immunity to David Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc., as part of the investigation into Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, The Wall Street Journal reports. Pecker has reportedly “met with prosecutors and shared details about payments” Cohen made “in an effort to silence two women who alleged sexual encounters with” Trump. AMI is the publisher of the National Enquirer, and the company’s executives were reportedly involved in the payoffs of adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal—who both claim they had affairs with Trump. Daniels was paid $130,000 from Cohen’s shell company, and McDougal’s story was bought by the Enquirer for $150,000 in a deal that was reportedly brokered by Cohen.

Dylan Howard, chief content officer of AMI, has also been indicted by prosecutors but “won’t be criminally charged in the Cohen investigation.” The Associated Press later reported that the Enquirer kept a “safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed” for the president ahead of the 2016 election. This comes after The Daily Beast reported that Pecker, who is a longtime friend of Trump and Cohen, went into a “state of calculated retreat” after the FBI raided Cohen. Cohen was convicted on Tuesday on campaign finance, bank, and tax fraud charges. He told the court that he was directed to make payments to two women before the 2016 election at the direction of Trump.