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National Enquirer Publisher Cops to Hush-Money Payment

American Media won't be prosecuted, signs plea deal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2018 3:58 PM CST
This July 12, 2017, file photo shows the cover of an issue of the National Enquirer featuring President Donald Trump at a store in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(Newser) – The US attorney's office in New York says it won't prosecute the National Enquirer's parent company over its efforts to suppress an embarrassing story about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, the AP reports. The agreement was announced Wednesday shortly after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison. Cohen's crimes included working with American Media Inc. to buy the silence of women who say they had affairs with Trump. The president denies the allegations.

Like Cohen, the tabloid publisher admitted it was trying to influence the election by protecting Trump from a damaging story. As part of the deal, AMI acknowledged it made $150,000 in hush money payments "in concert" with the Trump campaign with the intent of influencing the election. Per NBC News, the payments went to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The deal, which was signed and dated Sept. 21, requires AMI to cooperate with federal prosecutors in any investigation. (Click for more on Cohen, who got some leniency.)

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