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Trump, Michael Cohen planned to buy 30-plus years of National Enquirer dirt

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Michael Cohen and Donald Trump
Michael Cohen and Donald
Trump.

Jonathan
Ernst/Reuters


  • President Donald Trump and his former longtime lawyer
    Michael Cohen devised a plan to purchase decades of dirt The
    National Enquirer built up, The New York Times reported
    Thursday.
  • The plan was never finalized, the publication
    reported.
  • Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of
    federal felonies, including two campaign-finance violations
    stemming from hush payments to two women who alleged affairs
    with Trump.

President Donald Trump and his former longtime lawyer Michael
Cohen devised a plan to purchase more than 30 years of dirt The
National Enquirer built up on the future president prior to the
2016 presidential election, The New York Times reported
Thursday.

That plan was never finalized, The Times reported, adding that it
was hinted to during a secret recording Cohen made of Trump in
September 2016 that was seized by the FBI. It was then released publicly by
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, last month.

The September 2016 conversation featured the two men discussing a
plan to buy the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s
story. McDougal says she has an affair with Trump years ago.

American Media Inc., which owns The Enquirer and whose CEO, David
Pecker, is close with Trump, purchased McDougal’s story for
$$150,000 in August 2016 but never ended up publishing the
account. That practice is known as “catch and kill,” and it
effectively silenced McDougal’s allegations.

“It’s all the stuff — all the stuff, because you never know,”
Cohen said on the recording of a plan to purchase information
from The Enquirer. Cohen also said he needed to “open up a
company for the transfer of all of that info, regarding our
friend David.”

Several Trump associates told The Times about both the plan to
buy the trove of information and of its existence. Pecker
cooperated with federal investigators and was given immunity as
part of the Cohen probe that took place in the Southern District
of New York.

Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of federal
felonies, including two campaign-finance violations stemming from
hush payments to McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels, who also
alleged an affair with Trump.

The Times reported it was unclear whether federal prosecutors
scrutinized the proposed plan to buy all of the dirt. Lawyers for
Trump and Cohen declined to comment to The Times, as did American
Media Inc.

Last week, The Associated Press reported that
Pecker kept some sensitive information on Trump in a physical
safe.

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