Trump and Pecker, a rather strange relationship
Why risk ruining a plea bargain?
I recognize that the above headline could be interpreted as a double entendre; however, this article relates only to the rather strange relationship that exists between David Pecker and President Donald Trump.
David Pecker is the controlling shareholder in AMI, which operates and controls the National Enquirer and other news outlets. Pecker participated in the cover-ups relating to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, and Karen McDougal, a former playmate, and their alleged affairs with Donald Trump prior to the 2016 Presidential election.
At that time Pecker acted in concert with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and confidant, in “catching and killing” the stories relating to Daniels and McDougal: namely paying for their stories and killing them by not publishing them. Obviously, this hugely helped Trump in 2016, but whatever monies were paid to Daniels and McDougal were considered illegal political campaign contributions.
Both Pecker and Cohen pled guilty. Cohen received three years (he was also charged with numerous other felonies) and Pecker walked (received no time) with the proviso that he not commit any other crimes within a three-year timeframe from the entering of his plea.
End of story? Not quite.
Trump hates the continual string of reports put together by the investigative journalists of the Washington Post and is in a constant battle with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of the Washington Post.
A number of weeks ago the National Enquirer ran articles about an affair between Jeff Bezos and a former television anchor, Lauren Sanchez. Lauren’s brother, Michael Sanchez, is a strong supporter of Donald Trump. Emails and intimate pictures of Bezos and Lauren ended up somehow, some way, in the hands of the Enquirer – owned by Pecker, Trump’s longtime friend and ally. The Enquirer (a.k.a. Pecker) threatened Bezos that unless Bezos promised to stop investigating how the emails and pictures got into their possession, and further unless Bezos promised to say that none of this was politically motivated, it would release additional emails and pictures and further embarrass Bezos.
Bezos stood up to Pecker (after all, he is the richest man in the world) and released the Enquirer’s written demands, which appeared to be an attempt at extortion.
Bottom line is that Pecker’s plea bargain could be in jeopardy. The matter is now in the hands of the U.S. Attorney’s office, possibly in more than one district.
It may be that Michael Sanchez managed to leak the emails and photos to Pecker. Or… it may be even more nefarious than just a Trump supporter lending a helping hand.
Bezos’s wife is suing Bezos for divorce and Trump is as happy as a pig in you-know-what about the discomfiture caused to Bezos.
Why would Pecker take the risk of losing his plea bargain and going to jail, probably for several years?
The only thing that makes sense is the likelihood that Trump promised him a pardon. What other rational explanation could there be? Talk about “getting in the gutter.”
It is really hard for me to say “Mr. President” when spoken before the name Trump.
Edward L. Marcus, an attorney, is former chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee in Connecticut and former State Senate majority leader. His office is in Branford.
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