Trump Pal and National Enquirer CEO, David Pecker Grabs Immunity Deal From Prosecutors

Trump Pal and National Enquirer CEO, David Pecker Grabs Immunity Deal From Prosecutors August 23, 2018

What would be the reason for prosecutors granting people immunity?

Asking for a friend.

It’s like the news for President Trump keeps getting worse and worse. It’s certainly not getting better.

This may actually prove to be the most consequential week of Trump’s presidency. With his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort being found guilty of eight separate felonies, and his longtime attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen pleading guilty to a host of charges, including campaign finance law violations – which he promptly laid at Donald Trump’s doorstep – you’d think it couldn’t get much worse.

Now, it appears Trump has lost the support of his friend and backer, David Pecker.

Pecker is the CEO of American Media, the company that publishes the tabloid trash found in grocery store aisles across the nation, The National Enquirer.

Throughout the 2015-2016 primary and election season, the magazine poured on the support for Trump’s candidacy, using all the slime-coated tricks such publications are known for, in an effort to sink his opponents, and elevate the candidacy of Trump.

Do we all remember the stories about Senator Ted Cruz’s dad, Rafael Cruz, being connected to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, or the alleged multiple affairs of Cruz?

These things were splashed all over the front cover, while Trump was heralded an all-American hero.

Rubbish.

Now, however, that old saying about no honor among thieves is coming around. Pecker, so willing to work and force Trump on the American people before, is working with prosecutors and has been granted immunity in the case surrounding Michael Cohen.

Pecker met with the prosecution to discuss Cohen’s involvement in Trump’s hush-money deals with women leading up to the 2016 presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Pecker has emerged as a central figure in the scandal involving the payments. CNN last month released audio of Trump and Cohen discussing payment to a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, in which Cohen apparently references Pecker, telling Trump that he needs “to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David.”

So how is Pecker wrapped up in this and why might he need immunity?

It involves a practice with scummy publications called “catch and kill.” That’s where a story of potential public interest is paid for and secured, then the publication decides to make it “go away,” by sitting on it.

That was the kind of deal that American Media apparently made with McDougal. The National Enquirer bought the rights to her story of an affair with Trump for $150,000 – a story the Wall Street Journal first broke in November 2016 – and they never published it.

Seriously. Maybe paying $150,000 for such a story is peanuts for a big corporation to pay, but to pay for it and not use it?

It’s that deal that leads prosecutors to believe that David Pecker’s testimony could be useful to their case.

According to the Journal, Pecker’s information seems to have informed the prosecutors’ charging documents, which were revealed Tuesday.

The payment was completed a few weeks before the 2016 presidential election and Cohen said that he did so at the behest of “a candidate for federal office.”

Along with the $130,000 payment to Daniels, Cohen admitted to completing an $150,000 illegal contribution, the same amount McDougal was reportedly paid by publishers at the Enquirer.

President Trump, after initially denying knowledge of the payments, admitted to Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt that the payments came from him. He insisted, however, that since campaign funds were not used, that no crime was committed.

That may not be so. The payments, if it can be proven they were made in order to keep the women from revealing their stories and damaging Trump’s election chances, could be considered “of value,” and would violate campaign finance law – the thing Cohen pleaded guilty to.

While we can’t know for certain how damaging Pecker’s cooperation may be, it’s interesting to note that whatever he has to say, prosecutors wanted it enough to grant him immunity from prosecution for it.

 

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  • IllinoisPatriot

    This is good news despite Pecker’s immunity from prosecution FOR THIS INSTANCE.

    1) It virtually proves that collusion during the 2016 election DID occur between Trump (personally, through family connections, through historical “understandings” or otherwise) DID collude with at least one news outlet to sway the election.

    2) The comment about the National Enquirer keeping a safe of stories they have buried to “protect” Trump and other celebrities smacks of Kompramat of the type Russian agents would LOVE to have under their control, so it is totally appropriate for Mueller now to find out who had access to that safe and under what conditions that information would be released or what influence THOSE PEOPLE may be under to release that information for other than proscribed reasons.

    3) It also begs the question as to why the National Enquirer was keeping this information in the first place (and for whom).

    4) It sounds like Pecker has already been “turned” and will be cooperating with Mueller’s investigation (otherwise immunity would not likely have been offered). If Pecker provides access to this information “safe” to Mueller’s prosecutors, there would be no conflict of interest or privacy concerns since all stories were purchased under the implied agreement they would be published and under the condition that American Media owns all rights to the stories.

    5) Earlier reports of Mueller finishing his investigation by Labor day appear to have been wishful thinking by Guiliani and other Trump supporters and an attempt to imply negative consequences should Mueller not terminate his investigation prematurely.

    6) It shows that Trump’s circle of corruption is much larger than originally thought. Trump’s circle of corruption may yet expand to other media outlets and public entities (I’m thinking mega-Churches & certain websites to start with). Imagine the possibilities if senior FOX officials started to flip on their support for Trump or if details of payouts to Breitbart senior staff or profit preachers like Joel Osteen and Paula White were to be discovered….

    7) One or more of the stories in that safe could eventually lead (through one ore more degrees of contact) to known or already indicted Russian or underworld contacts.

    8) If David Pecker is as dirty as he appears to be, it’s likely that he’s not the only news outlet collecting blackmail material on potential rivals and celebrities. Perhaps some of his information that is used to turn others (or court discovery) will result in additional charges not related to his immunity and justice can be served to him as well.

    My vote is for Mueller to keep doing what he’s doing. He is doing more to drain the DC swamp than any other politician we have. Robert Mueller’s investigation seems to be applying sunshine disinfectant to the corruption-support-system that has developed in both the DC and NYC political and business cultures.

  • Ellen Elmore

    I hope you are right about Mueller continuing to drain the swamp. It’s too bad he can’t drain Trump out of the White House.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I think the swamp has been so dirty for so long and that Trump has built such a support structure of legal “attack dogs” and media protection that any attempt to directly implicate Trump and have any action taken would have been doomed to immediate failure, shut-down, and cover-up followed by unsupported attacks on Mueller’s credibility and the credibility of any witness that comes forward in the future, effectively re-enforcing Trump’s “immunity” to the rule of law. We saw this happen with too many previous politicians – Bill Clinton and Obama most recently come to mind. They were both undoubtably dirty, but you’ll note that between the media and those sycophants willing to lie for them, they both totally escaped any semblance of prosecution or consequence.

    I think what Mueller is doing is both brilliant and possibly successful.

    Note that Mueller has already effectively discredited, silenced and removed Trump’s long-time fixer and militant lawyer from the playing field. Michael Cohen is known to have threatened lawsuits (and potentially sponsoring anonymous death threats) against anyone criticizing Trump – we saw those actions during the election – even reports of Cohen intervening on behalf of Trump threatening legal action against reporters, candidates, activists ,etc, using lawfare to attempt to intimidate them into silence.

    Note also that David Pecker has now been neutralized and Mueller has potential access to AMI’s cache of “buried stories” (blackmail material) that has almost certainly been used in the past to influence the “opinions” of the celebrities named in those “stories”. If Mueller now truly has access to that entire cache of Kompromat, those exclusive contracts can be nullified and the people freed to speak. But more importantly, the AMI cache of stories can no longer be wielded in support of covering up for Trump or Trump “business partners”, putting their past actions potentially into the public sphere.

    For a president that has no identifiable or justifiable policies of his own and lots of corrupt actions that could easily be seen has harmful to America and Americans, Trump’s sole “defense” at this point and the ONLY reason he appears able to keep his job is the sizeable number of sycophants and Congresscritters that have inexplicably chosen to support and defend him and his actions. How many of those Congresscritters are named in the AMI cache ? What would happen if Trump were stripped of his ability to attack his critics using lawfare tactics (frivolous lawsuits – [ Michael Cohen’s former “job” ]) ? What would happen if Trump were stripped of his ability to have a “pet new media” “catch-and-kill” embarrassing or incriminating news stories [ David Pecker and AMI’s cache of “catch-and-kill” contracts ] ? What would happen if Trump were stripped of many of his contacts with Strong ties to Russia or Russia-friendly countries ( [ Paul Manafort and his many strong contacts in the Ukranianian government ] ) ? What would happen to Trump’s popularity or legitimacy with Congress if some of Trump’s personal betrayals and attempts at unconstitutional orders / actions were made public ( [Don McGahn (sp?) – former WH counsel ] ) ? What would happen if Trump’s projection of his massive wealth were shown to be a fraud and Trump’s business “empire” were shown to be a house of cards sustained by continuous infusions of Russian money ( [Mr. Weisselman (sp?)’s immunity deal ], [ Trump Foundation investigation findings of illegal payments for Trump family purchases using money that was solicited on behalf of various charities ], [ Trump University being found illegal in NY state ] ) ?

    For that matter, what would happen should Trump also be stripped of his more violent activist organizer with apparently serious contacts with the US and Russian underworlds [ Possible if Roger Stone is indicted / convicted ] ? How about if Trump is stripped of some of his more vocal Congressional supporters that have known ties to Russia [ Dana Rohrbacher (sp?) ] ?

    Don’t think that Trump (and/or his family) does not recognize the fact that Mueller is simultaneously stripping Trump of his various defenses that have protected him and his family’s unethical and illegal activities for decades while bringing many of those most deeply involved in Trump’s long-term subversion of justice to light with evidence that shows “big-picture” patterns of cover-up and extreme corruption that may not have been visible to the smaller-scale individual cases. I think that Trump’s ascension to public office and the introduction of the FBI and the federal jurisdiction that Trump’s corruption has now entered is potentially a major mis-step for Trump’s future since much of his support- and legal-defense- structure does not appear to extend very far outside the NY state or NYC borders. With every new conviction and every Trump associate that “flips”, more of Trump’s covered-up past indiscretions are exposed and more associates are implicated.

    I find it inexplicable how many Congresscritters have come out in defense of Trump and remain his defenders – a man that has no discernible vision, no discernible ethics or morals and no discernible tact or self-control as their chosen leader for their party and for their country. What seems to make sense for the first time is that these Congresscritters have past indiscretions that are being held by one or more news outlets in safes very much like AMI’s “catch-and-kill” safe that Mueller may now have access to. I’m pretty sure this (if true) would also be known to Trump and (likely) his family.

    I think it’s possible that we could see some of Trump’s Congressional support dry up soon if AMI’s cache becomes available to Robert Mueller. There should be no issue of privacy or legal privilege since all contents are the property of AMI media [ legally and contractually purchased ] and were always intended to be published. There is only the issue of who would be embarrassed (or prosecuted) by the revelation that a potential story existed, was investigated by AMI and found credible enough for AMI to have paid some amount of money for exclusive rights for a story that was to be killed.

    It seems to me that Robert Mueller is following the process of previous successful prosecutors and stripping extra-legal (and in this case media and social-media) defenses that his target has traditionally employed to escape consequences before making any direct confrontation or accusations.

    This approach always takes time, but is the only way to win in the long run – remember that Al Capone was found guilty and imprisoned on charges of tax fraud – not murder, prostitution, extortion or other major crimes. Remember also that Al Capone’s trial could only take place once his underlings has been neutralized and that Al Capone was not above witness-tampering to insure that any trials that resulted from crimes he DID get charged with would return not-guilty verdicts [ Paul Manafort is also charged with witness tampering in his upcoming trial – among other charges ].

    Ultimately, you are technically correct that Robert Mueller cannot “drain Trump out of the White House”, but his report and investigation CAN [ continue to ] expose the corruption of Trump associates and supporters to public view of the American public and of the electorate and CAN [ continue to ] provide necessary case evidence to help state prosecutors convict those who act as Trump’s “lieutenants” and take the lead in threatening and intimidating others into silence. Once those “lieutenants” are jailed, those that were intimidated can be encouraged to speak out or emboldened to act which is now Al Capone’s myth of invincibility was pierced and may be how Trump is ultimately brought down. I see no option where Trump succeeds in setting himself up as the dictator / mob boss he clearly envisions himself to be.