National Enquirer publisher fined for breaking law with McDougal payment: WSJ
The parent company of the National Enquirer has reached a settlement with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for breaking a campaign finance law over its payment of ex-model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an affair with former President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
A360 Media LLC formally reached the agreement with the FEC on May 17, agreeing to pay $187,500, according to the Journal.
The agreement comes years after American Media Inc., the predecessor of A360 Media, told prosecutors that it had paid McDougal $150,000 at the behest of Trump’s 2016 campaign. The FEC said the payment violated federal campaign laws.
David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media, admitted in 2018 to prosecutors that he took a story of McDougal’s alleged affair with Trump off the market during the 2016 election.
The FEC accused American Media of shielding the story from the public in order to protect Trump’s presidential campaign.
American Media, which became A360 Media after a 2018 merger, argued that they should be exempted from the investigation since they are a news outlet, but the FEC rejected their request, according to the Journal.
The investigation stems from a 2018 complaint by Common Cause, which also reported violations committed by Trump’s campaign as well.