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Crucial Witness in Hush-Money Trial Admits to Breaking Law to Assist Trump

Donald Trump (Credits: RFI)

In Donald Trump’s ongoing New York hush money trial, his former ally-turned-crucial witness, David Pecker, openly confessed on Thursday to violating campaign finance laws in a bid to aid Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Pecker, the ex-publisher of the National Enquirer and former CEO of American Media Inc., testified in court about his involvement in a $150,000 payment orchestrated by Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, to Playboy model Karen McDougal. The payment was made to acquire the rights to McDougal’s story alleging an affair with Trump.

Admitting to the court, Pecker acknowledged that despite being aware of campaign finance regulations, he intentionally failed to report the $150,000 payment to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). His rationale was to prevent the story from causing embarrassment or damage to Trump’s campaign.

Donald J Trump (Credits: South China Morning Post)

Pecker revealed that his decision not to report the payment stemmed from a prior incident involving Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign for California governor. After women approached the National Enquirer with stories about Schwarzenegger, Pecker found himself in violation of campaign finance laws when one story leaked to the press.

Drawing from this experience, Pecker sought legal advice before finalizing the agreement with McDougal, ensuring compliance with campaign contribution regulations. Throughout the week, Pecker has made a series of admissions as part of his cooperation with the government in exchange for immunity in the Trump trial.

Donald Trump (Credits: ABC News – The Walt Disney Company)

Earlier, he disclosed that he and Trump had coordinated efforts to publish favorable coverage of Trump and unfavorable coverage of other presidential candidates, effectively confirming the catch-and-kill media scheme Trump has denied.

Pecker recounted Trump’s inquiries about using his publications to aid the campaign, to which Pecker responded by promising to publish positive stories about Trump and negative stories about his rivals.

Trump stands accused of using Cohen to suppress Stormy Daniels’ allegations of an affair before the 2016 election. He faces 34 felony charges related to falsifying business records to conceal criminal activity, maintaining his innocence on all counts.

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