It wasn’t just Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen allegedly devised a plan to purchase decades worth of dirt that the National Enquirer and its parent company had compiled about the playboy real estate magnate.
In the fall of 2016, around the time the pair were negotiating the purchase of McDougal’s story about her alleged 10-month affair with Trump, they grew worried about what could happen to this trove of damaging stories if Trump ally David Pecker left his post atop the tabloid empire, according to the Times report.
The National Enquirer kept a safe of documents about hush money payments and other damaging Trump stories, as the Associated Press recently reported.
Per the Times, Cohen discussed buying all the publication’s dirt with Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Though the deal reportedly never came together, the Times’ report sheds new light on a recorded conversation released by Cohen’s attorney.
“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info, regarding our friend David,” Cohen tells Trump in the September 2016 recording, referring to Pecker.
“I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up,” Cohen says later in the conversation.
According to the Times, Cohen was referring to Pecker when he added, “We’ll have to pay him something” for the full stash of negative stories.
The Times reported it is unclear if this proposed plan is part of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office’s investigation into Cohen’s business dealings. Cohen last week pleaded guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, including two campaign finance violations related to the hush money payments.
Weisselberg and Pecker were granted partial immunity to testify in the Cohen probe.
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism