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Danziger: He’s Very Bad News

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Report: Prosecutors Probing Alleged National Enquirer Blackmail

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are reviewing the conduct of the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media, Inc., after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos alleged Thursday that the tabloid attempted to blackmail and extort him by threatening to publish his nude selfies, according to Bloomberg News.

The Associated Press has also confirmed Bloomberg’s report.

Bezos said that a lawyer for AMI had formally demanded that he publicly denounce the suggestion that the National Enquirer’s recent coverage of his extramarital affair was driven by political motivation, perhaps because of coverage from the Washington Post, which Bezos owns, about the Trump administration or Saudi Arabia.

AMI and its CEO David Pecker have entered into a non-prosecution deal for their role in the campaign finance crimes carried out by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer. Cohen pleaded guilty to the crimes and said in court that Trump himself had directed him to arrange criminal hush money payments.  Trump has a long history of a mutually beneficial relationship with AMI and Pecker.

It’s not clear whether AMI’s reported blackmail attempt of Bezos would violate the law, but if it did, it could nullify the non-prosecution agreement with SDNY and open up the company and Pecker to potential criminal charges.

 

 

Danziger: A Prick By Any Other Name

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Trump’s Tabloid Pals At National Enquirer Attacking Michael Cohen

Trump’s allies at the National Enquirer tabloid are now doing his dirty work for him. The publication has trained its sights on Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer.

The latest issue of the Enquirer highlights Cohen under the heading “PAYOFFS & THREATS EXPOSED.” The magazine promises readers that it will reveal “TRUMP FIXER’S SECRETS & LIES!”

The story comes as a federal judge indicated an indictment is likely in the cards for Cohen, resulting from the recent FBI raid on his home and office.

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Cohen has spent years in service to Trump, most recently paying off porn star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election to hide her affair with Trump.

But now, Trump appears to be pushing him away.

Appearing on Fox, Trump said Cohen was only responsible for “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work.

That statement came days after Trump pardoned George W. Bush era criminal Scooter Libby. The legal move sent a signal to the Trump lieutenants currently under legal threats from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The owners of the Enquirer, American Media, Inc. (AMI), are close Trump friends, particularly CEO David Pecker. As the tabloid loses money, it has been one of the loudest media voices promoting Trump and attacking his enemies.

They even went after Malia Obama.

AMI is tied to Cohen, as well. Communications between Cohen and top AMI executives, including Pecker, were part of the subpoena used for the FBI raid on Cohen’s properties.

While Cohen was paying off Daniels, AMI was reportedly buying the silence of others who had embarrassing stories about Trump.

Model Karen McDougal was paid $150,000 by the Enquirer for the rights to the story of her affair with Trump. The publication also paid former Trump World Tower doorman Dino Sajudin for a story about Trump’s affair with a housekeeper.

Yet the magazine never published either story, as part of a practice called “catch and kill.”

Now Trump’s cheerleaders at the Enquirer are targeting another figure with information that could potentially damage him.

But the two men have such close ties that the campaign seems doomed to fail. Cohen has made dozens of Trump-related cable news appearances. Further, he helped lay the groundwork for his presidential run.

But it is notable that the Enquirer is giving it a try anyway. For Trump’s sake.