"As Robert Mueller’s siege closes in on Donald Trump, the president has been left to wonder which of his staff and closest allies will, after all, stay loyal. On Tuesday, Michael Cohen completed his operatic turn against his former boss when he stood in federal court and pleaded guilty to eight felonies that included making hush-money payments at Trump’s direction to women Trump allegedly had sex with. The admission effectively made Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal crime.
Cohen’s stunning admission came just days after The New York Times reported that White House counsel Don McGahn provided 30 hours of testimony to Mueller’s investigators. McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mueller rattled the West Wing to the core at a time when aides were struggling to contain the fallout from former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman’s scathing White House memoir.
And now Trump’s most powerful media ally next to Fox News has broken with him. According to two sources briefed on the Cohen investigation, prosecutors granted immunity to David Pecker, chairman of The National Enquirer publisher, American Media Inc., and A.M.I.’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, so they would describe Trump’s involvement in Cohen’s payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign. The Wall Street Journal first reported Pecker’s cooperation on Wednesday night. (Pecker and Howard did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A spokesperson for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.)
“Holy Shit, I Thought Pecker Would Be the Last One to Turn”: Trump’s National Enquirer Allies Are the Latest to Defect | Vanity Fair