Amazon's Bezos to meet with federal prosecutors about National Enquirer claims: report

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will meet with federal prosecutors in New York regarding his claims that Saudi Arabia allegedly provided information about his extramarital affair to the National Enquirer, according to CNN.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York are reportedly seeking access to Bezos’s electronic devices to verify claims by private investigators that the Saudi government allegedly obtained Bezos’s private information by hacking into his phone, CNN reported, citing people familiar with the matter.


Bezos’s attorneys have in recent weeks been negotiating with Southern District prosecutors about his devices, but so far have only turned over documents and materials from his private investigators’ probe, according to the network.

Bezos has suggested he was targeted by the Saudis as retaliation for unfavorable coverage of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos. Khashoggi was reportedly murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Bezos’s security consultant, Gavin de Becker, has also expressed “high confidence” that Bezos’s phone was hacked by the Saudis, according to CNN.

The Southern District was reported to be investigating the National Enquirer's publisher, American Media Inc. (AMI), in February over the possibility that its handling of stories regarding Bezos’s affair violated a non-prosecution agreement it struck with prosecutors last year.

Company officials, as part of the agreement, acknowledged their involvement in a hush-money scheme ahead of the 2016 presidential election to buy the silence of two women alleging to have had affairs with President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE. The agreement, CNN notes, stemmed from prosecutors' probe into Trump's former longtime lawyer, Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump offers condolences on frequent foe Cummings: 'Very hard, if not impossible, to replace' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public MORE, who helped arrange the payments.

Bezos has accused the tabloid of extortion, but prosecutors have yet to reach a determination on the claim, according to CNN.

In January, the Enquirer posted a story with a series of text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. Bezos was married at the time the texts were sent. The next month, Bezos accused the Enquirer and AMI of attempting to blackmail him over the messages prior to publishing the story. AMI denied the allegations.