Pecker Testifies that Donald Trump Had Knowledge of the Catch and Kill Contract with Karen McDougal

Ex-AMI chief David Pecker continued his testimony on Thursday morning on day three of ex-president Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial. Pecker testified that in addition to Michael Cohen having knowledge of the catch and kill contract for the former Playboy model Karen McDougal, he believes Donald Trump also had knowledge of it.

Adam Klasfeld reported the following exchange:

Exhibit: The deal with Karen McDougal.

The contract purchased the “Limited Life Story Rights” for “any romantic, personal and/or physical relationship McDougal has ever had with any then-married man.”

The contract obligated AMI to pay $150,000 within two days of the execution of the agreement.

AMI had “sole discretion” about its “creative or business” decisions.

“Q: So, by purchasing her life rights, you had no obligation to actually print them?
A: No.”

Pecker agrees he had no intention of printing her story, either.

Question from Conroy:

Q: Do you know whether anyone other than Michael Cohen had knowledge of this contract?
A: Yes, I believe Donald Trump did.

This testimony directly ties the ex-president to the proposed catch-and-kill scheme, which is behind the ultimate goal for the prosecution of attempting to tie Trump’s payout to election interference.

Ultimately, Pecker says he backed out of the deal and Cohen told him the “boss” would be “very angry” at him. Klasfeld shared:

Next exhibit: The assignment agreement AMI assigned the rights to McDougal’s story to Resolution Consultants LLC on Sept. 30, 2016, for $125,000. The agreement was signed, but it was not actually executed, Pecker says.

Pecker says of Cohen’s reaction: “He was very very angry, very upset, screaming at me basically.” […] “Cohen said, ‘The Boss is going to be very angry at you.'” But Pecker said he stuck to his guns: “I said I’m not going forward. The deal is off.”

So the prosecution has the evidence of this agreement between a shell company set up by Cohen to reimburse AMI for catching and killing the McDougal story, but Pecker says he ultimately backed out of it.

For good measure, though, LA Times Senior Legal Affairs Columnist Harry Litman reported (my bold), “Pecker: we wouldn’t have done the agreement but for the promise, from Cohen, that trump (sic) would reimburse AMI. so (sic) DA getting at Trump’s criminal conspiracy liability for getting around the campaign finance laws. Pecker: we purchased the story so it wouldn’t be published by any other organization. and we–Pecker and Cohen — did that so it wouldn’t embarrass Trump or embarrass or hurt the campaign.”

And boom, there is the connection to the Trump campaign and the motivation of a hiding information from the voters as a campaign concern. However, just because a witness testifies to something doesn’t mean the jury will believe it or that it makes the prosecution’s case.

However, Pecker is under a non-prosecution deal and must give honest testimony.

“Pecker’s arrangement with Trump’s campaign has been called a “fake news” mill, but his testimony suggests something much more. AMI acted as its “eyes and ears”—a private intel firm, hush-money fund, and propaganda organ smearing rivals on supermarket checkouts across the US,” Klasfeld pointed out earlier as he set the stage for the testimony. He added that in 2018, “SDNY revealed AMI entered into a non-prosecution deal resolving a campaign finance probe. AMI admitted the purpose of the Karen McDougal hush money—and agreed to beef up campaign finance compliance.”

That point about campaign finance compliance is key to the prosecution’s case.

At issue in this first criminal trial of a former American president in the U.S.’ history, hiding behind the salacious sex scandal and “hush money” themes, are 34 criminal counts for falsifying business records in relation to the Stormy Daniels’ payout, in an attempt to influence an election.

President Biden is literally rebuilding America, while prosecutors are building a case that could convict Donald Trump.

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