National Enquirer publisher, prosecutor strikes deal in case involving Trump's ex-lawyer

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

Cohen's crimes included working with American Media Inc.to buy the silence of a model who says she had an affair with Trump.

Prosecutors also reportedly added that the company will avoid prosecution by spelling out that it specifically worked with Trump's campaign to pay the alleged mistresses off.

After Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY announced that prosecutors had previously reached an agreement not to prosecute the National Enquirer's parent company over its payment to kill Karen McDougal's story about her alleged affair with President Trump.

Prosecutors revealed Wednesday that AMI admitted that the "principal purpose" in making the payment to McDougal "was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election".

The parent company of the right-wing tabloid National Enquirer has admitted it helped bury salacious stories about President Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election, federal prosecutors in NY revealed Wednesday.

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Former National Enquirer employees told The Associated Press that damaging stories about Trump were deemed dead on arrival at the tabloid dating back to when Trump starred on NBC's "The Apprentice".

The agreement came after David Pecker, AMI's chief executive, provided key testimony to prosecutors as they investigated the president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Under the agreement with AMI, dated in September but previously kept private, federal prosecutors in Manhattan agreed not to charge the company in return for its cooperation. McDougal claimed that she had an affair with him, a fact that could have had an impact on his electoral chances in 2016.

That's of critical import, because Trump's latest argument is that while Daniels and McDougal were clearly paid off - remember that he has long denied that - it had nothing to do with his campaign or his prospects of winning.

Cohen was on Wednesday sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to the campaign finance violations, lying to Congress about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Russian Federation, and personal financial crimes.

Cohen acknowledged that he made the payment to Daniels through a shell company, and that he orchestrated the scheme on the instruction of Trump.

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