American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid, admitted on Wednesday to committing a felony campaign finance violation “in concert with” Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
As announced by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, AMI admitted to making a $150,000 hush-money payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal “in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election.”
“AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election,” the office noted.
SDNY said that it has chosen not to prosecute AMI for the illegal campaign contribution at this point provided that the company continues cooperating with the investigation.
The office also acknowledged that AMI had provided “substantial and important assistance” with its investigation into the illegal campaign contribution.
The revelation that AMI has admitted to making an illegal payment to a former Trump mistress with the specific intent to swing the outcome of the election will undercut the president’s claims that paying off Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels was a simple business transaction.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that AMI CEO David Pecker had been granted immunity by prosecutors in exchange for providing information about his company’s role in the hush-money payments.