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Ex-media boss outlines Trump efforts to keep extramarital affairs out of the news

David Pecker, the former owner of the National Enquirer, wrapped up a third day of testimony on Thursday, April 25 with details on how he kept one of Donald Trump’s sexual affairs out of the news shortly before voters cast their ballots in the 2016 Presidential election.


David Pecker in Court during Trump Trial

The New York state hush money case where Pecker is testifying is one of several facing the former president, and the first case to be tried.


In this case, Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records for authorizing hush money paid to adult actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential vote. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made the payment, and was reimbursed by Trump with payments allegedly classified as “legal expenses.” Daniels has said the two had an affair in 2006.


In his final day of testimony, David Pecker, the former chair of the Enquirer’s owner American Media Inc, detailed the discussions that led American Media to buy the silence of Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also said she had a year-long affair with Trump in the mid 2000’s. 


Pecker noted that his company declined to pay Daniels, and so Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made a $130,000 payment to win her silence about their sexual encounter.


New Gag Order Violations Alleged


Also Thursday, prosecutors urged the judge overseeing the case to hold Trump in contempt for what they said were new violations of a gag order. New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, May 3, for prosecutors to present their arguments for these additional violations, based on their assertions that Trump has continued to make disparaging or intimidating conduct against witnesses, jurors, and other trial participants. Justice Merchan previously heard arguments on whether Trump’s earlier conduct had violated the existing gag order, but has not ruled on it. 

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