Former National Enquirer Publisher Testifies on Trump’s Involvement in “Catch-and-Kill” Scheme

Former National Enquirer Publisher Testifies on Trump’s Involvement in “Catch-and-Kill” Scheme

Former National Enquirer publisher, David Pecker, testified in the hush money trial involving Donald Trump, shedding light on the notorious “catch-and-kill” scheme that aimed to bury damaging stories about the former president during the 2016 election. Pecker revealed the extent of Trump and his fixer Michael Cohen’s involvement in dictating the publication’s campaign coverage. Manhattan prosecutors argued that Pecker played a crucial role in a conspiracy to influence the presidential election, emphasizing the direct connection between Trump’s catch-and-kill arrangement with Pecker and his political ambitions.

Pecker acknowledged that his contact with Trump significantly increased after the latter announced his presidential candidacy. He testified that during a meeting with Trump and Cohen in 2015, they asked him how his media company could assist the campaign. Pecker agreed to use his network of sources to be the campaign’s “eyes and ears” and promptly inform Cohen of any negative stories or rumors about Trump or his family. The arrangement was kept highly confidential due to concerns about leaks within the campaign.

Pecker admitted that prior to the 2015 meeting, he had never purchased a story on Trump to prevent its publication. However, he made an exception when informed about former doorman Dino Sajudin’s false claims of Trump fathering an illegitimate child. Pecker decided to buy the story for $30,000 to avoid potential embarrassment to the campaign and Trump. He testified that Cohen assured him that “the boss” would be pleased with the decision. Even if Sajudin’s claims were proven true, Pecker would have delayed the story’s publication until after the election.

Furthermore, Pecker revealed how he would communicate with Cohen about negative stories on Trump’s rivals, such as Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio. Cohen would provide information, and the Enquirer would embellish the stories based on that information. The prosecution presented a series of Enquirer headlines that targeted Trump’s opponents, including false claims and manipulated photos.

Pecker’s most significant contribution to the Trump campaign was the purchase and subsequent killing of a story about an alleged affair between Trump and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Pecker personally spoke with Trump and suggested buying the story to remove it from the market. AMI, Pecker’s company, paid McDougal $150,000, leading her to believe the story would be published. However, it never saw the light of day, and McDougal was bound by a contract that prohibited her from discussing the allegations publicly.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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