Jeff Bezos accuses AMI (National Enquirer) of extortion and publishes emails to prove it (1 Viewer)

buzd

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This is pretty amazing:


Remember, AMI got immunity to cooperate in the Cohen investigation, but this is really not good for them.

Edit: I guess this could go on EE, but I will leave it here because it's tangentially related to the presidency in a couple of ways (Trump vs. WaPo, Cohen, Trump + Pecker, etc)
 

superchuck500

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Regardless, doing it via email seems highly illegal, and those lawyers are idiots.
Either they're idiots or they made a desperate but calculated move based on legal analysis. I'm not sure which state law would actually apply, or if federal law applies due the interstate/wire nature of the communication (probably the case, but also could be both state and federal) but the elements of extortion usually require that the demand be for money, or something of value (possibly even tangible value).

Here, the quid pro quo is to call of an investigation (a private investigation). So at least as to the extortion angle, there is a substantial question as to whether that constitutes a 'thing of value' to meet the elements of extortion. I don't know the case law, and sure you can argue that it is obviously valuable to AMI to have that investigation end . . . but does it meet the statutory requirement for the crime? (Remember that criminal statutes are interpreted in favor of whether the language sufficiently puts the defendant on notice that the conduct is criminal).

Of course, there's also the secondary consideration about the illegality of AMI's activities including how they acquired the texts/pics, and any illegal activity associated with the Saudis. But as to the threat itself, it's not clear whether that is actually criminal. But like many have said, it's beyond ballsy to come at Bezos like that. He has the resources to turn the flame up very, very high on you - whether there's actually a crime or not.
 

Grandadmiral

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Ummm yeah. I'm sure there will be a thorough investigation...

American Media said in a statement on Friday morning that the company "believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos."

"Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him," the company said. "Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary."
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/08/media/national-enquirer-jeff-bezos/index.html
 

superchuck500

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insidejob

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Of course, there's also the secondary consideration about the illegality of AMI's activities including how they acquired the texts/pics, and any illegal activity associated with the Saudis.
I can't see how they'd have gotten copies of his personal text messages by any legal means. Like any at all. Is there some method sanctioned by the government that allows me to hack and steal all of Andrus's texts and threaten him with them if he doesn't make the site in my image?

I just don't see how AMI can weasel their way out of this. The stealing of the data, then blackmailing Bezos with it (via email by AMI's lawyers - that's the best part of all this. Like they say, someone has to finish last in their class.) and thinking he'd somehow back down after Trump has gone after him personally because he's jealous of the man for actually becoming a billionaire (like, a real one) on Twitter by calling him childish names, insinuating less than savory things about him and ultimately raising the price of a postage stamp because the USPS ships so much of Amazon's product (which, btw, pretty much saved the postal service from really really really going broke) even though the USPS is still going to give Amazon a super discount on shipping since they're the USPS's #1 customer.
 

Saint_Ward

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In my mind, I see this...

Bezos: Hey, AMI, that's a nice tabloid you have there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it...
 

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There was one talking head who made the comment "AMI just went out of business......they just don't realize it yet". The fact that Bezos went ahead and did this intimating that it may be politically motivated and possibly involving MBS and Trump, gives me goosebumps. I really hope this takes them down.
 

superchuck500

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Slate with more on the criminality. The fact that deputy general counsel was one of the two main participants is troubling. I don't doubt that AMI's legal department might have unscrupulous lawyers but seeing it in action is just unsettling.

 

efil4stnias

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Slate with more on the criminality. The fact that deputy general counsel was one of the two main participants is troubling. I don't doubt that AMI's legal department might have unscrupulous lawyers but seeing it in action is just unsettling.

when they have operated in this manner for years, with no consequences, this is what you end up with. Hubris at its greatest.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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The incompetence level of these Trump associates is astounding. All AMI had to do was to stay clean for 3 years and then they could go back to being shower scum, but they couldn't even make it to 6 months.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/feds-weighing-if-national-enquirer-publisher-violated-non-prosecution-agreement-n969431

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into whether American Media Inc., the company that publishes the National Enquirer, violated its non-prosecution agreement as a result of conduct alleged by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The non-prosecution agreement, signed in September 2018, describes AMI's role in a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Donald Trump prior to his presidential candidacy. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance violation for arranging a hush-money payment to McDougal, and AMI agreed to cooperate with prosecutors rather than face similar charges for helping to facilitate the payment.
AMI's non-prosecution agreement makes it clear that the company can be prosecuted for any crime that may have occurred after the agreement was signed.

"It is understood that should AMI commit any crimes subsequent to the date of signing of this agreement," says the agreement, "AMI shall thereafter be subject to prosecution for any criminal violation of which this Office has knowledge."

The agreement also explicitly states that the non-prosecution deal only applies to crimes related to the payments associated with Cohen's guilty plea.

According to Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney who is now an NBC News analyst, AMI's alleged interactions with Bezos are "arguably a violation of the extortion statute."

Added Rosenberg, "[Prosecutors] must also assess whether AMI has put its non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department (given its written promise not to commit additional crimes) at risk."
 

UTSaintsFan

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The incompetence level of these Trump associates is astounding. All AMI had to do was to stay clean for 3 years and then they could go back to being shower scum, but they couldn't even make it to 6 months.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/feds-weighing-if-national-enquirer-publisher-violated-non-prosecution-agreement-n969431
Added Rosenberg, "[Prosecutors] must also assess whether AMI has put its non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department (given its written promise not to commit additional crimes) at risk."
This is pretty hilarious. So essentially, they were put on probation and then they went and committed, potentially, another crime against the richest person on Earth. Is it just me, or does it seem like all of President Trump's associates are criminals?

 

dtc

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This is pretty hilarious. So essentially, they were put on probation and then they went and committed, potentially, another crime against the richest person on Earth. Is it just me, or does it seem like all of President Trump's associates are criminals?

Not only are they criminals, but they're like the keystone cops of rich, entitled wannabe white collar gangsters.

They've been so insulated and unaffected by reality for so long that they actually think they're tough and smart. The whole administration and their associated group of grifters have forced the nation to have to watch as the most criminally corrupt group of clowns ever assembled makes a clown bus out of our government.
 
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LuvNOLA

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Interesting news on the TV tonight:

1. There is a rumor that the person that leaked the pics & the text was the girlfriend ‘s brother.

2. Bezos has not been seen with his girlfriend for months & did not even invite her to the SuperFraudBowl.

Who knows what the truth is, but I am still proud of Bezos for his courage & willingness to spend time & $$$ on this mess.
 

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There’s that, but there has got to be more to this. Why on earth would AIM do this to a person that they know has all the ability in the world to tear them apart? Think the Washington Post is going to stop now? Every other news agency is probably scratching around also. Bezos isn’t the sort of guy who’s going to let this go, or lacks the free cash to fight. Unless, AIM has for too long ran rough over people who did get scared that they got sloppy and too overconfident. Much like I view Trumps lawyers. In NY, he had the ability to browbeat and beatdown others. He had the cash and the lawyers to make life difficult. Now that they are on the national stage, not so powerful.
 

LuvNOLA

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There’s that, but there has got to be more to this. Why on earth would AIM do this to a person that they know has all the ability in the world to tear them apart? Think the Washington Post is going to stop now? Every other news agency is probably scratching around also. Bezos isn’t the sort of guy who’s going to let this go, or lacks the free cash to fight. Unless, AIM has for too long ran rough over people who did get scared that they got sloppy and too overconfident. Much like I view Trumps lawyers. In NY, he had the ability to browbeat and beatdown others. He had the cash and the lawyers to make life difficult. Now that they are on the national stage, not so powerful.
I was thinking about this:

If AIM tried to do this to Bill Gates, Bill Gates would not give them ONE second of his time.
If AIM tried to do this to Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett would say, "Go (blank) yourself."

But Bezos is willing to spend the energy, time, resources & $$$.

I think that you are 100% correct, there has got to be more to this story.
 

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