I thought that today I would be writing about Matthew Whitaker’s testimony to Congress. But today, it’s all about Jeff Bezos’s boy parts and how the National Enquirer threatened to publish a photo of them.
Background: Last month the National Enquirer published an expose of a Bezos extramarital affair, resulted in Mrs. Bezos filing for divorce. I hadn’t followed this much because, frankly, I don’t care. But then Jeff Bezos launched an investigation into how the National Enquirer got its hands on the evidence, which included private text messages. And the National Enquirer was not happy. Ryan Bort of Rolling Stone explained,
After the Enquirerpublished its investigation last month, Bezos told his longtime personal security expert, Gavin de Becker, to look into how AMI was able to obtain his text messages. Bezos writes that he was informed by AMI that Pecker was “apoplectic” that de Becker was on the case. A few days later, Bezos says he and his lawyers were told by AMI that if de Becker didn’t stand down, the Enquirerwould publish a trove of private photos they obtained, including a “below-the-belt selfie” of Bezos. …
…Another email followed, laying out the exact terms to which AMI was hoping Bezos would agree. These terms involved Bezos and de Becker stating publicly that they “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”
Bezos not only published the threats he was sent; he also published descriptions of the photos. And he might as well have, because in 2019, who cares? Does anyone really want to look at Jeff Bezos’s pecker? (Not to be confused with David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer.) I doubt it. Is anyone’s opinion of Jeff Bezos changed because of any of this? I doubt it. If you want to read it, here is what Bezos published.
Ryan Bort continues,
The political angle to which AMI is referring derives from Pecker’s decades-long relationship with Trump. AMI reportedly employs a “catch and kill” practice in which the company purchases the rights to an unsavory story, and Pecker allegedly has a literal safe filled with potentially damaging Trump tales. The most notable story is that of the president’s alleged affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. In December 2018, the Southern District of New York revealed in the sentencing memo for Trump’s former lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen that AMI purchased the story specifically to keep it from hurting Trump’s presidential chances. AMI admitted as much as part of a non-prosecution agreement, an agreement that also stipulated that AMI not commit additional crimes. The blackmail and extortion detailed by Bezos would certainly be of interest to federal investigators and thus could put AMI in a mess of legal jeopardy, which means Pecker really, really, really didn’t want Bezos to find out how they came across his text messages.
And, indeed, Bloomberg reported today that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into the threats the National Enquirer sent Bezos, and the tabloid’s parent company could be in a whole heap o’ legal trouble.
Further, Bezos apparently believes there is no legal way the text messages could have been obtained by the National Enquirer. And here the story is murkier. Why would the National Enquirer go to such risks to stop Bezos from investigating how it got the texts? There is much speculation that the dots will connect to the White House. Such as:
Makes zero sense Pecker/AMI would risk extorting Bezos unless to stop Bezos from finding WH fingerprints on text hack. At last Trump scandals have their own Watergate break-in.
â€” Frank Rich (@frankrichny) February 8, 2019
If this episode leads to the eventual dénouement of the National Enquirer I would be content, but if there is a White House angle, even better.