WSJ: Prosecutors Granted Immunity To Tabloid Publisher In Cohen Probe

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Cohen is schedule to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Cohen is schedule to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session. (A... Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Cohen is schedule to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Federal prosecutors granted immunity to tabloid publisher David Pecker as part of their investigation into Michael Cohen’s hush money payments to women, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday .

CEO of National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., during the 2016 presidential campaign to quash the stories of women’s alleged extramarital affairs with President Trump.

Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to eight counts, including two related to campaign finance violations regarding these payouts to women.

The Journal reported earlier Thursday that Pecker provided prosecutors with details about the payments they arranged, “including Mr. Trump’s knowledge of the deals.”

Cohen said under oath that he made these deals “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”

According to the Journal, neither Pecker nor AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard will be charged in relation to the Cohen criminal investigation.

The court documents describe how Pecker volunteered in August 2015 to work with Cohen “and one or more members of the campaign” to deal with damaging stories about Trump.

The publisher ended up paying $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal for the rights to the story of her relationship with Trump. The Enquirer also tipped Cohen off about adult film star Stormy Daniels’ allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump, and Cohen shelled out $130,000 to keep her quiet.

Cohen pleaded guilty to causing an unlawful corporate campaign contribution for the McDougal payment, and to making an excessive campaign contribution in the Daniels matter.

He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. His sentencing hearing on the campaign finance violations and six counts related to his personal financial misconduct is scheduled for December 12.

Latest Muckraker

Notable Replies

  1. The scope of the disloyalty is positively criminal! Guess Pecker’s also being forced to make up stories about Trump, just to get a deal. Heh.

  2. Avatar for erik_t erik_t says:

    That’s sort of sad. I’d like to cage this little bird. But there are bigger, more critical targets.

  3. tRump’s favorite pecker turns on him. Sad.

  4. I’m interested in the timing and sequence of events here. Since AMI is reported to have influenced Cohen to seek a plea deal, it would appear that Pecker was offered immunity somewhat early on. Why? The feds have more than enough to pin Cohen, so I presume Pecker’s offer of immunity must be for some bigger fish, which means Spanky hisself is the likely target here…right?

    So what might Pecker have on Spanky that’s so juicy and so otherwise not available to the feds that he’d be offered immunity? Thoughts?

  5. I should think that being called pecker all his life is punishment enough. Pecker by name, Pecker by nature.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

92 more replies

Participants

Avatar for paulw Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for old_curmudgeon Avatar for tomdibble Avatar for dont Avatar for ignoreland Avatar for leftcoaster Avatar for serendipitoussomnambulist Avatar for dickweed Avatar for ronbyers Avatar for pshah Avatar for gharlane Avatar for jtx Avatar for rod Avatar for marymaryquitecontrary Avatar for dannydorko Avatar for rhs1963 Avatar for socalista Avatar for erik_t Avatar for skeptical Avatar for godwit Avatar for thunderroad Avatar for arawak

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: