Pecker is the chief executive of a publishing company, AMI, that publishes such tabloids as The National Enquirer. He met with Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, and at least one member of Trump’s campaign team.
Information concerning this plan was included in the legal documents made public as part of Cohen’s guilty plea on Tuesday.
In the meeting Pecker assured Cohen that he would “deal with” rumors about Trump’s illicit relationships with women he was not married to. Pecker told the people at the meeting that he would convert his tabloid publishing operation into a research arm of the Trump campaign. Pecker knew this would allow him to identify stories that might damage Trump’s political chances. Also, he would then be in a position to buy the silence of the women who wanted to tell about their affairs with Trump.
In effect, Cohen and Pecker, working with Trump campaign officials, came up with an elaborate “hush money” scheme that proved to be very effective, although somewhat expensive also.
The documents released on Tuesday as part of Cohen’s deal with prosecutors say that CEO Pecker and his company were much more deeply and intentionally involved in the effort to help the Trump campaign pay off women than had been known before. Pecker also played a key role in silencing Stormy Daniels, according to the documents.
Late Wednesday night the Wall Street Journal reported that Pecker is now cooperating with federal prosecutors.
“Breaking now: @WSJ reporting that American Media Incorporated CEO David Pecker has provided prosecutors with details of Trump’s knowledge of hush money payments.”
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) August 23, 2018
The paper said that Pecker provided prosecutors with details about payments Michael Cohen arranged with women who had alleged sexual encounters with President Trump, including details of President Trump’s knowledge of and involvement in the deals to pay them hush money.
Now that both Pecker and Cohen are working with law enforcement to provide evidence that contradicts Trump’s lies, it is possible that the president will finally admit the truth. It is more likely, however, that he will now start attacking both Pecker and Cohen, since that is all he has ever done.