It’s hard to imagine under any scenario that Michael Cohen would lie in order to take a plea deal that would put him away in prison for five years, but that’s an argument that Trump and his advisors have attempted to make. That argument, however, is going to be much more difficult to assert in light of the knowledge that David Pecker — in exchange for immunity — has flipped and provided evidence supporting Michael Cohen’s version of events, according to the Wall Street Journal. (A.M.I.’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, also took the deal and provided similar intel).
In fact, David Pecker — the CEO of AMI, which owns The National Enquirer — provided prosecutors with the information about the hush-money deals (and Trump’s knowledge of them) that ultimately led to Michael Cohen taking the plea deal.
This is big news, or at least it would be under any other administration. If this were even Nixon, he’d be warming up the chopper and prepping his resignation speech. At the very least, it illustrates that even those closest to him — Cohen and Pecker, in addition to White House counsel Don McGahn, who provided 30 hours of testimony — are willing to turn on the President, which suggests that he has very few friends left.
From Vanity Fair:
“Holy shit, I thought Pecker would be the last one to turn,” a Trump friend told me when I brought up the news. Trump and Pecker have been close for years. According to the Trump friend, Pecker regularly flew on Trump’s plane from New York to Florida. In July 2013, Trump tweeted that Pecker should become C.E.O. of Time magazine. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”
During the 2016 campaign, Pecker provided invaluable media support to Trump by regularly attacking his Republican rivals and Hillary Clinton. At times, it seemed like the Enquirer operated as a de-facto arm of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Lanny Davis — Cohen’s attorney — says that there are yet more revelations to come. How much longer will Trump be willing to hang on, especially once prosecutors start coming after his family?