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National Enquirer Publisher Reportedly Subpoenaed for Records of Payout to Playboy Model

The publisher of the National Enquirer has been subpoenaed for records involving a payment made to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became president.

The Wall Street Journal reported on their scoop Wednesday afternoon, writing that American Media Inc. has been subpoenaed “for records related to its $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for the rights to her story alleging an affair with Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The report further explains, “The subpoena from Manhattan federal prosecutors requesting information from the publisher, American Media Inc., about its August 2016 payment to Karen McDougal is part of a broader criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, they said.”

Ronan Farrow of  The New Yorker first reported on McDougal’s relationship with Trump, which lasted months in 2006, less than two years into Trump’s current marriage.

According to Farrow, “McDougal’s account provides a detailed look at how Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously — out of the press.”

McDougal eventually ended the consensual relationship with Trump but then, according to the Wall Street Journal in a report that dropped just days before the 2016 election, she was paid $150,000 to the National Enquirer for her story, a move the WSJ called a “catch and kill” job aimed at making sure the story did not get out.

American Media has said they will comply in the probe, telling the WSJ, “American Media Inc., has, and will continue to, comply with any and all requests that do not jeopardize or violate its protected sources or materials pursuant to our first amendment rights.”

Watch more on McDougal above, via GMA

[image via screengrab]

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