National Enquirer Subpoenaed in Michael Cohen Probe

By George Khoury, Esq. on June 25, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Matters seem to continually be going from bad to worse and then getting even more worse for the president's former lawyer and self-proclaimed "fixer," Michael Cohen.

The most recent news involves a federal DOJ subpoena to American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer. Apparently, before the Stormy Daniels debacle, Karen McDougal, the Playboy Playmate of the Year for 1998 received a $150K payment from the "news" company to buy the exclusive rights to her story. Curiously, the news company never published the story, performing what is known in the industry as a "catch and kill."

Curious Campaign Contributions

The criminal investigation seems to be focusing on whether that payment to McDougal was a campaign finance violation. Clearly the $150,000 payment, if considered a campaign contribution would dwarf the $5,400 limit on individual contributions.

While the deal seems to be set up to insulate exposure to Trump's campaign, it is hard to deny the fact that performing a "catch and kill" of a story alleging an affair with a presidential candidate is anything other than a campaign contribution.

Complicating the matter, the McDougal deal included a provision for the company to have exclusive rights to publish a fitness column authored by McDougal, as well as the exclusive right to any story about her relationship with a married man.

And if you thought the situation couldn't get any stickier, President Trump allegedly is friends with the National Enquirer's publisher David Pecker ... which really makes you wonder given Trump's staunch stance on "fake news" and the National Enquirer's reputation for printing it.

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