According to a report from Mother Jones, the FBI — at the request of federal prosecutors working in the Southern District of New York office — have been investigating one of Donald Trump’s associates for working with the Saudi government illegally.
The investigation concerns a special edition published by the National Enquirer that cast a favorable light on Saudi Arabia and controversial leader Mohammed bin Salman that was created at the behest of American Media head David Pecker.
Mother Jones is reporting that the FBI began requesting documents and interviewing staff at the company dating back to June, with an eye on whether “AMI had engaged in illegal influence peddling on behalf of a foreign power.”
According to the report the investigation is an off-shoot from stories the company ran on Washington Post and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos where they published private texts that showed he was having an affair.
The reports states, “Gavin de Becker, a veteran private investigator working for Bezos, soon made a related charge: Saudi Arabia had swiped ‘private information’ from the billionaire’s phone and was ‘in league’ with the Enquirer to bring down Bezos.”
“After de Becker went public with this allegation, in late March, FBI agents began interviewing AMI employees over the company’s relationship with Saudi Arabia,”Mother Jones reports. “The Saudis, the Bezos camp contended, had targeted the billionaire out of revenge: Bezos owns the Washington Post, where relentless coverage of the grisly death of its columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, had enraged the Saudi Crown Prince commonly known as MBS, who was implicated in ordering Khashoggi’s murder.”
According to the report, what the FBI discovers could have “profound implications” on a deal Pecker made with federal prosecutors over his part “in the hush-money case that resulted in campaign finance charges against Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen” who is currently serving time in prison.
As part of that deal, “AMI agreed to cooperate fully with investigators and in return received immunity from prosecution. Yet that deal could be tossed out if AMI was suspected of engaging in other wrongdoing,” the report continues.
Mother Jones reports that the FBI has not confirmed or denied the report on the investigation.
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