National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. agreed to accept responsibility for its role in a $150,000 payment to silence a former Playboy Playmate about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump before the election.
Under a non-prosecution agreement, the company admitted its purpose was to suppress the woman’s story and prevent it from influencing the election. According to the cooperation agreement with AMI, Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and another campaign official met with AMI Chairman David Pecker about the scheme around August 2015. That official’s involvement has not been previously reported.
The announcement came shortly after Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison, in part for his role in the hush payment, which he has said was directed by Trump.
The prosecutors said they’d previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI about its role in making the payment before the 2016 presidential election.
“As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election,” the prosecutors wrote in a statement announcing the deal.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment.