The New York Times reports that President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE at one point planned to purchase the rights to all of the negative stories about him that the National Enquirer had purchased and never published.
According to the Times, Trump’s then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, created a plan to buy all the stories owned by the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc., that could discredit Trump. Several of Trump’s associates told the Times that the stories dated back to the 1980s.
The plan was never completed, and the newspaper did not provide a reason.
Sources told the Times that the files on Trump are mostly older stories, involving Trump’s marital woes, lawsuits or minutia, such as allegations of cheating at golf.
Several former American Media staffers also told the Times that the stories would have put the Enquirer in an excellent position to dominate coverage of the president’s past scandals.
Cohen pleaded guilty last Tuesday to eight counts, including one charge of campaign finance violations.
Cohen admitted to paying adult-film actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair she alleges she had with the president. Cohen also admitted to a second violation of $150,000, which is the same sum that American Media paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal for exclusive rights to her story about an alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen implicated “a candidate for federal office” in the violations and Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, has said that there is "no dispute" that the president committed a crime.
However Davis, an opinion contributor to The Hill, also has stated that Cohen’s word may be all that links Trump to the violation.
Davis refused to comment when contacted by The Hill on Thursday, citing an investigation.
The White House and American Media did not immediately respond to The Hill's requests for comment.
The CEO of American Media, David Pecker, was granted immunity by prosecutors pursuing Cohen, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
--Updated at 8:47 a.m.