Well everyone, today has certainly been a day. Just when it looked like President Donald Trump might make it through the end of 2018 peacefully, things might have changed for the worse and it's thanks to a familiar publisher. So, what does the National Enquirer non-prosecution agreement mean? Here's what we know.
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, The Hill reported that American Media Inc., aka the publisher of the National Enquirer, has agreed to cooperate with New York federal prosecutors. The announcement was made by the Department of Justice through a public statement sharing that a non-prosecution agreement with American Media Inc. was met "related to its payment of $150,000 to a woman to influence 2016 presidential election," per the statement. Who is this mysterious woman you may ask? Well, though she's not named in the press release, it appears to be former Playboy model Karen McDougal, a woman who claimed to have had an affair with President Donald Trump back in 2006. The president has consistently denied the allegations of the affair since they surfaced. However, according to The Hill, in 2016 McDougal was paid $150,000 by the Enquirer, whose parent company AMI was overseen by Trump ally David Pecker, for exclusive rights to the story of her alleged affair with Trump. Despite the payment, the publication never ran McDougal's story. According to prosecutors, the publication purchased McDougal's story to "suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election," per The Hill.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House and AMI for comment about the non-prosecution agreement and McDougal's affair allegations, but did not hear back in time for publication.
Of course, this isn't the first time the Enquirer's name has come up in regards to Trump. In August, news broke that AMI CEO David Pecker had reportedly been granted immunity in exchange for information pertaining to payments made to McDougal and Stormy Daniels, another woman who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. AMI did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment at the time. However, not much information has surfaced since then. Well, leave it to 2018 to spill all the tea in one day.
Even though this agreement may not impact Trump directly right now, it definitely isn't great news for the president. The same day, Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to 36 months, aka three years, in prison for his numerous guilty pleas. According to updates from CNN, Cohen was sentenced to three years for his financial crimes, with the possibility of knocking down that sentence if he cooperates, and then two months for lying to Congress. He will serve both charges concurrently.
Cohen's sentencing, and AMI's cooperation with the DOJ, could spell seriously bad news for Trump. Plus, according to Cohen's spokesperson, Lanny Davis, Cohen plan to "state publicly all he knows about Trump," per a statement shared with Elite Daily. It says,
Michael Cohen, former attorney to Donald Trump, continues to tell the truth about Donald Trump’s misconduct over the years. At the appropriate time, after Mr. Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump – and that includes any appropriate Congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies. Mr. Trump’s repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts.
From plea deals to non-prosecution agreements, I'm sure Trump can't wait to see 2018 come to a close. In the meantime, who knows what drama will unfold in the last few weeks.