National Enquirer colluded with Trump campaign to silence mistress

President Donald Trumps former lawyer accompanied by his children and wife arrive at federal court for his sentencing in New York Dec. 12 2018

President Donald Trumps former lawyer accompanied by his children and wife arrive at federal court for his sentencing in New York Dec. 12 2018

As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate.

NEW YORK-The parent company of magazines including the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and In Touch has admitted to engaging in a journalistically dubious practice known as "catch-and-kill" in order to help Donald Trump become president of the United States.

Under terms of its September 20 agreement with the feds, AMI admitted that the payment to McDougal should have been reported to the Federal Election Commission because it was "made for purposes of influencing an election and in coordination or at the request of a candidate or campaign".

The U.S. attorney's office in NY says it won't prosecute the National Enquirer's parent company over its efforts to suppress an embarrassing story about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Pecker and another AMI executive were granted immunity as part of prosecutors' probe, Vanity Fair also reported over the summer.

The nonprosecution agreement also requires AMI to train employees on federal election law standards and hire a lawyer to consult regarding any future payments "to acquire stories involving individuals running for office".

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The AMI settlement jibes with what we learned last week in the SDNY sentencing document on Cohen, in which the office makes clear they believe that Cohen made and sought to hide the payment to McDougal (as well as another six-figure payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels) at the direction and coordination of Trump.

A statement of facts says AMI chairman David Pecker met with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and at least one other member of the campaign in August 2015.

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate, signed a $150,000 deal with AMI in August 2016 that transferred to the company the rights to her story of an alleged 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006.

That's of critical import, because Trump's latest argument is that while Daniels and McDougal were clearly paid off - remember that he has long denied that - it had nothing to do with his campaign or his prospects of winning.

The agreement says the feds can cancel it if AMI doesn't abide by its term or commits any crimes in the next three years.

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