National Enquirer publisher subpoenaed in Michael Cohen investigation: report

National Enquirer publisher subpoenaed in Michael Cohen investigation: report
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The publisher of National Enquirer has been subpoenaed for records related to its $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for the right to her story that alleged she had an affair with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE

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The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that the subpoena, filed by Manhattan federal prosecutors, is asking for information from the publisher, American Media Inc., about its 2016 payment to Karen McDougal. The subpoena is part of a larger probe into Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Investigators are reviewing whether Cohen tried to suppress any potentially damaging information about Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. As part of the probe, investigators are looking into whether Cohen coordinated with American Media to pay McDougal for her story and then not publish her account, the Journal reported.

The payment is under investigation for possible campaign finance violation. The report notes, however, that American Media has not been accused of any crime.

“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,” a spokesman told the Journal. 

McDougal has previously said that she had a yearlong affair with Trump that began in 2006.

The report notes that Cohen wired $130,000 to former adult-film star Stormy Daniels just two months after American Media's payment to McDougal — a payment that is also under investigation for a potential campaign finance violation.

FBI agents raided Cohen's home, offices and safety deposit boxes in April, seizing thousands of documents. Since then, he has faced increasing scrutiny as investigators look into allegations of improper lobbying activities in addition to campaign finance violations.

It was reported earlier this week that Cohen is considering giving special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE information related to Trump's activities and business dealings.

"He knows a lot of things about the president and he's not averse to talking in the right situation," a friend of Cohen’s told CNN. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it."

Trump said last week that Cohen is no longer his lawyer, but that he always liked him and that he “is a good person.” 

Cohen hired New York lawyer Guy Petrillo on Tuesday to represent him in the federal investigation into his business dealings, according to ABC. 

Updated at 6 p.m.