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National Enquirer Editor Discussed Potential Pardon by Trump for Alleged 2016 ‘Electoral Fraud’

Donald Trump (Credits:

During Trump’s hush money trial on Thursday, text messages were revealed where Dylan Howard, former editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer, discussed the possibility of being pardoned by Trump for “electoral fraud” in 2016.

These texts were read aloud in court and shed light on Howard’s interactions regarding a potential pardon and his involvement with stories about Trump’s alleged affairs.

In one exchange, Howard discussed traveling to California in 2016 to meet with ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. When asked why he would travel there if the story wasn’t published, Howard replied that having information “is powerful.”

Donald Trump (Credits: The New York Times)

Another text message had Howard suggesting that he might receive a pardon if Trump won the election. However, it’s important to note that there was no indication in the text messages that Trump had discussed any potential pardon with Howard.

Judge Juan Merchan discussed whether these text messages should be admitted as evidence and eventually decided to exclude them for the time being.

Merchan cited that the texts were part of a private conversation with a family member, not a business record. He also stated his intention to review relevant case law further.

The prosecution argues that agreements made with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker to suppress damaging news about Trump may have unduly influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

Pecker’s testimony has centered on “catch-and-kill” operations involving McDougal, adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and others to prevent negative stories about Trump from being published.

Donald J Trump (Credits: CNN)

McDougal was one of the women allegedly paid off to keep silent about an affair with Trump, which he has denied. Pecker testified about how he coordinated with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to acquire the rights to McDougal’s story to prevent it from becoming public.

Pecker described these actions as an effort to avoid embarrassing Trump and his campaign. His testimony has provided insight into the use of “checkbook journalism” to suppress negative stories about Trump, which is central to the hush money case against the former president.

The trial focuses on allegations that Trump falsified business records related to reimbursements made to Cohen for paying Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. Trump faces 34 counts in connection to these payments.

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