David Pecker Testifies In Donald Trump's Criminal Hush Money Trial

By iHeartRadio

April 23, 2024

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David Pecker, former CEO of American Media, Inc., continued his testimony for the second day in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial in New York City on Tuesday (April 23). Pecker, who was the head of the National Enquirer's parent company during the 2016 presidential campaign, described his efforts to use the tabloid to bury negative stories about Trump and attack his rivals.

Pecker testified that he agreed to be Trump's "eyes and ears" in 2015, alerting Trump's attorney Michael Cohen to damaging stories that might hurt the campaign. He described using a tactic known as "catch and kill" to buy the rights to the stories and decline to publish them, effectively keeping them hidden.

Prosecutors allege a $130,000 hush money payment Cohen made to the adult film star Stormy Daniels in the days before the election was part of the scheme. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to reimbursements Cohen received and has pleaded not guilty.

Pecker testified that he saw Trump review and sign invoices and checks and that he and Trump communicated frequently by phone, often through their offices and assistants. He also said he visited Trump at Trump Tower on multiple occasions over the years.

Pecker described how he reached out to Cohen after a National Enquirer editor received a tip that Dino Sajudin, a doorman at Trump Tower, was trying to sell a story that Trump fathered an illegitimate child with a maid at Trump Tower. Pecker purchased the story for $30,000 but never published it after concluding that the story was not true.

Pecker also said the story "would have been very embarrassing to the campaign" if it was published by another outlet. He also said that if the claims turned out to be accurate, he would have published the story after the 2016 presidential election.

"It would be probably the biggest sale of the National Enquirer since the death of Elvis Presley," he said.

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