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Does Pecker's Blackmail Violate His Immunity Agreement?

After Jeff Bezos published the threats from AMI/National Enquirer to publish personal, embarrassing photographs, Rachel Maddow investigated the possibility that it could void the immunity agreement with Robert Mueller's office.
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After the news that David Pecker's American Media, Inc organization, publisher of the National Enquirer, broke Thursday night, Rachel Maddow dug out AMI's immunity agreement to see whether extortion might have an impact on their immunity agreement.

The short answer is: Maybe. The blackmail/extortion threat was an effort to force a statement from Bezos that the National Enquirer does not have a political agenda. If he issued the statement, they wouldn't publish the illicit texts and pictures they had in their possession. If he did, they said they'd drop the issue.

Sure thing.

According to Rachel's guest, former prosecutor Elliot Williams, it's complicated. Extortion is an effort to get something of value out of the target -- monetary value. In this case, they sought a statement, not money, so it's a gray area. Blackmail is also somewhat of a gray area, but it seems as though there may be a "there" there.

Here is Donald Trump's celebratory tweet after the Enquirer published the initial story about Bezos' affair:

So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Hopefully the paper will soon be placed in better & more responsible hands!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Yes, he tweeted that shortly after Bezos announced he and his wife were separating.

So sure, there was no political motivation there. Sure.


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