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National Enquirer boss granted immunity in Cohen probe

National Enquirer boss granted immunity in Cohen probe

Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization, was granted immunity by NY prosecutors in relation to the Michael Cohen investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. One of them said the immunity agreement was restricted to Weisselberg's grand jury testimony last month in the Cohen case, specifically the allegations that Cohen paid hush money to two women who claimed affairs with Trump.

Trump was dealt severe back-to-back blows on Tuesday when Cohen pled guilty to illegal campaign finance violations and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud within minutes of each other.

Two executives at American Media Inc, which publishes the National Enquirer, a tabloid reportedly involved in making the payments, have also been granted immunity in the investigation, according to news media reports.

Experts said the deals were a sign Weisselberg, Pecker and Howard faced criminal exposure because the government did not grant immunity lightly. "I think he was more, you know, an everyday kind of, pay the bills, see the payroll, that kind of thing".

"If President Trump pardons him without him doing any time at all it would look like President Trump was saying it's OK that you broke the law".

It was a bruising week for Trump, with a trio of men who are intimately familiar with his secrets and business dealings now cooperating with prosecutors.

Giuliani also dismissed claims that the president gave orders for any hush payment dealings, referring to the evidence tape where Cohen allegedly discusses payment to the Playboy model Karen McDougal. "They are trying to undo this president", said former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. In the news pages, Trump's coverage was so favourable that the New Yorker magazine said the Enquirer embraced him "with sycophantic fervor". But now that a guilty plea by the president's ex-lawyer has implicated the Trump Organization, federal, state and local prosecutors are circling.

On top of that, the moves pose a different kind of peril for Trump than the investigation by Mueller for its ties to Russian Federation.

Trump has repeatedly denied the affairs.

Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, confirmed this week that his client was "present at a discussion with" Trump and Trump Jr. related to the meeting but did not confirm details of what was discussed.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" that aired Thursday morning, Trump denounced the longstanding legal practice of "flipping" former confidantes for criminal investigations and court proceedings, declaring that it "almost ought to be illegal".

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