The parent company of the National Enquirer has been given immunity in exchange for cooperation in the federal government’s investigation into the hush-money payment paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal by Michael Cohen.
The Southern District of New York revealed Wednesday that it had entered into a “non-prosecution agreement” with American Media Inc., an announcement that came shortly after Cohen, the former attorney for President Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the hush-money scheme.
Cohen made a $150,000 payment to AMI to buy the rights to and subsequently squash the story about McDougal’s alleged affair with Trump. The payment was made by Cohen to AMI in late summer 2016.
The payment was done “in order to influence the 2016 election and did so in coordination with one or more members of the campaign,” the federal government said Wednesday.
“As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it [accepted] 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 before the 2016 presidential election,” the prosecutors’ office said.
Prosecutors added that AMI “further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.”
The agreement revealed that Cohen and another campaign official met with AMI Chairman David Pecker, who has been given immunity in the case, about the hush-money scheme around August 2015.
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