A tabloid magazine often featuring positive coverage of President Donald Trump skewered his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in its latest issue.
The National Enquirer published a three-page spread listing the numerous legal issues currently plaguing Cohen.
Cohen “is under the spotlight, as scandals swirl around his boss, and some are questioning Cohen’s role, alleging blackmail, threats, hush-money payoffs ― and even collusion with Russia,” the tabloid’s staff wrote. “The president is in the hot seat because of his lawyer.”
The National Enquirer is owned by American Media Inc, a company chaired by Trump friend David Pecker. The company’s four-member board also includes a former chief financial officer of Trump’s casino business.
The tabloid is linked to the criminal investigation into Cohen’s financial dealings opened by the U.S. attorney’s office for New York’s southern district. The FBI raided Cohen’s office earlier this month as part of the investigation, seizing records related to payments made to women who have alleged having affairs with Trump.
Among the records seized by the FBI, were documents related to a $150,000 payment made to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal from AMI to buy the exclusive rights to her story claiming she had an affair with Trump. The tabloid then spiked the article shortly before the 2016 presidential election in what is called a “catch and kill” technique.
McDougal has since sued AMI to get out of the deal she signed with them. A settlement freeing her from the contract was reached earlier this month.
Trump has been trying to create distance between himself and Cohen, who has been dubbed the president’s “fixer,” given his longtime role of quashing negative media coverage about his boss.
“Michael is a businessman, he’s got a business. He also practices law,” Trump said during a rambling, 30-minute phone call to “Fox & Friends” on Thursday. He said prosecutors are “looking at something having to do with his business. I have nothing to do with his business.”