Tabloid Publisher Testifies He Helped Candidacy In Trump Hush Money Trial

Tabloid Publisher Testifies Trump Trial

In the criminal hush money trial of Donald Trump, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker took the stand on Tuesday.

He testified that he utilized the supermarket tabloid to suppress stories that could have damaged Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Pecker, aged 72, testified in a New York court, revealing that the Enquirer engaged in “catch and kill” practices, paying individuals who were selling stories of Trump’s sexual misconduct but never publishing them.

During his testimony, Pecker stated that it was common for women to approach magazines like the National Enquirer with such stories during political campaigns.

He disclosed that the decision to bury these stories followed a 2015 meeting where he assured Trump of favorable coverage in exchange for keeping an eye out for damaging stories. He instructed an editor to keep this arrangement confidential.

Pecker elaborated that the Enquirer paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal for her story about a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006 and 2007, after Trump declined to do so himself. He noted Trump’s belief that such actions would eventually become public.

Additionally, the Enquirer paid $30,000 for a story from Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajudin, who falsely claimed Trump fathered a child with a maid. Pecker admitted that both payments exceeded the usual amounts paid for stories, citing the potential embarrassment to Trump’s campaign as the reason for purchasing them.

Testimony to continue

Pecker’s testimony is expected to continue when the trial resumes on Thursday.

Prosecutors argue that Pecker’s actions helped Trump deceive voters by burying stories of alleged extramarital affairs during the 2016 election.

They have charged Trump with criminally falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges a past sexual encounter with him.

The trial’s outcome could impact Trump’s candidacy, although a guilty verdict would not prevent him from running for office.

Meanwhile, Trump faces scrutiny for allegedly violating a gag order, with prosecutors seeking a $10,000 fine. However, Justice Juan Merchan has yet to rule on this request.