Cohen: Trump Long Had ‘Catch-And-Kill’ Arrangement With National Enquirer

David Pecker

Michael Cohen testified Wednesday that the National Enquirer has collaborated with Donald Trump to purchase and not publish stories that would damage the President for at least 12 years.

“I was involved in several of these catch-and-kill episodes,” Cohen told the House Oversight Committee at his public hearing. “But these catch-and-kill scenarios existed between [National Enquirer publisher] David Pecker and Mr. Trump long before I started working for him in 2007.”

Cohen has pleaded guilty to working with Pecker and others at the Enquirer during the 2016 campaign to purchase the rights to the story of a Playboy model who claimed to have slept with Trump.

The Enquirer admitted to its role in the scheme as part of a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors are now examining if the publication violated that agreement in its efforts to publish the story of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ extramarital affair. Bezos has alleged that he was threatened with “extortion and blackmail” by the tabloid while the publication was trying to break the story of his relationship.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Muckraker
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: