https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/08/media/na ... index.html
Summary of the story: The Trump-aligned tabloid the National Enquirer (who's David Pecker got in trouble for buying up stories that would be harmful to Trump and suppressing them, and then got an immunity deal in exchange for turning over his dirt on Trump in the Cohen case) published some salacious messages between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his mistress (and around the same time, Bezos had his wife announced that they were undergoing an amicable divorce). Bezos then had his security chief look into who leaked the messages to the National Enquirer.Pecker, the head of American Media Inc., controls the National Enquirer. In a blockbuster blog post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker," Bezos on Thursday evening accused Pecker of an "extortion and blackmail attempt."
Bezos backed up his "extortion" charge with copies of what he said were multiple emails form American Media.
The company responded by saying in a statement on Friday morning that "American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.
Somewhere along the line, the investigator alleged that the National Enquirer's actions were politically-motivated, which would be more shocking if we hadn't lived through the last three years. Pecker is a long-time ally of Trump while Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post, which is a favorite target of Trump's attacks on the media. I've also seen it alleged elsewhere that Pecker has business ties to the Saudi elite, while the post has been going after the them hard over the Kashoggi murder (unsurprisingly, given that he was a Washington Post journalist).
According to Bezos, he then received messages from the National Enquirer telling him that they had more messages and photos, and would release them if he did not end the investigation and release a statement denying that their was any political motive.
Rather than give in to their demands, Bezos, in what I must admit is a pretty ballsy move, publicly released the messages (which included a list and descriptions of the photos they supposedly had), and accused the National Enquirer of blackmail and extortion.
Since then others, including Ronan Farrow, have come forward saying that the National Enquirer made similar threats, and prosecutors are now investigating the allegations to determine whether Pecker violated his immunity deal. Meanwhile, Pecker has claimed innocence and the company is conducting an investigation- but since Pecker is one of the people in the board conducting the investigation, only a fool would consider it remotely impartial.
And what I'm wondering is, what the hell did Pecker think he was doing here? If this is true, then he managed to get caught up in the investigations of Trump, was lucky enough to manage to get not merely a plea deal but full immunity, and then decided to immediately piss it away by trying to blackmail one of the richest men on Earth when he didn't even have anything all that damaging on him (from what I've heard, its basically just some dick pics, nothing non-consensual or anything that would seriously damage Bezos, and the National Enquirer has already come out of this looking way worse than Bezos). Honestly, I was reminded of this scene from The Dark Knight:
These Trumpers are all just like their boss, aren't they? Brazenly corrupt, laughably incompetent, and arrogantly convinced that they are somehow immune to consequences, that the law does not apply to them. And until recently, that was probably largely true, for practical purposes. These fucks have gotten away with a lot, for a long time, because they're rich and white in America and they have all the right connections. But they finally got too big, and too brazen, and drew too much attention to themselves by tying themselves to the sinking ship that is the SS Donald Trump, their luck ran out, and now heads are finally starting to roll.
Well, I look forward to watching this one get Pecker-slapped by the FBI.