Lawyer for National Enquirer publisher: 'Politics have nothing to do' with Bezos story

An attorney representing the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, maintained on Sunday that "politics have nothing to do" with threats to publish intimate photos of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

"That is not extortion because all that [American Media, Inc.] wanted was the truth," attorney Ebram Abramowitz said on ABC's "This Week."

Abramowitz insisted that the source of the story about Bezos and his mistress, Lauren Sanchez, was an individual who had provided the National Enquirer with information for seven years.

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"Bezos and Ms. Sanchez knew who the source was," he said. "Any investigator who was going to investigate this knew who the source was.

"It was not the White House. it was not Saudi Arabia," he added. "And the libel that was going out there slamming AMI was that this was all a political hatchet job sponsored by either a foreign nation or somebody politically in this country."

Abramowitz declined to specify who the source of the story was, other than to say it was not Saudi Arabia, President Trump or Roger Stone.

Bezos revealed in a blog post last Thursday that the National Enquirer had threatened to release personal photos he had sent Sanchez if the Amazon CEO did not stop investigating how the outlet had obtained messages between the two.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.

AMI has said it believes the Enquirer “acted lawfully,” but that it will investigate Bezos’s claims. 

The saga raises the specter of legal woes for the media company, which had entered into a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors in the investigation into campaign finance violations in the Trump campaign in exchange for immunity. The agreement stipulated that the company not engage any criminal activity for three years.

Abramowitz said Sunday that he's "not concerned" about the status of the company's agreement with the Southern District of New York.

--This report was updated on Feb. 11 at 6:06 a.m.