Ronan Farrow alleges in his new book Catch and Kill: Spies and Conspiracy to Protect Predators that the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, Inc. and the National Enquirer shredded documents related to President Donald Trump. The documents had previously been held in a safe, according to Farrow’s account.
In an excerpt published by Politico, the shredding happened in November 2016 and was ordered by Dylan Howard, then editor in chief of the National Enquirer.
The shredding also took place on the same day as a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called and asked about payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal.
“The staffer opened the safe, removed a set of documents, and tried to wrest it shut,” Farrow reports in his book, according to Politico. “Later, reporters would discuss the safe like it was the warehouse where they stored the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones, but it was small and cheap and old.”
Howard also made a list of documents related to Trump dirt that at one point was requested by then Trump fixer Michael Cohen.
“There was an internal debate: some were starting to realize that surrendering it all would create a legally problematic paper trail, and resisted,” Farrow explained in the book. “Nevertheless, Howard and senior staff ordered the reporting material that wasn’t already in the small safe exhumed from storage bins in Florida and sent to AMI headquarters.”
Farrow further notes that employees noticed documents missing when the list did not match the actual documents available.
Politico asked Howard for comment. His lawyer Paul Tweed replied: “We have advised Mr. Howard to make no further comment at this stage, while all legal options and jurisdictions are being considered.”
A spokesperson for AMI also called Farrow’s claims unsubstantiated.
Farrow responded to the publication of Politico’s scoop by asking, “Can finally talk about one of the big pieces of news in Catch and Kill: it’s the first time a reporter has gained access to AMI’s list of the contents of its vault of Trump secrets—and the first disclosure of claims that AMI destroyed material about Trump before the election.”
[image via Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images]
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