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Donald Trump fears the “power” of David Pecker, according to his lawyer

Donald Trump fears the “power” of David Pecker, according to his lawyer


Former President Donald Trump is afraid of the “power” of former publisher David Pecker, according to attorney Asha Rangappa.

Despite facing a ban on making public statements about lawyers, jurors and “predictable witnesses,” Trump has been outspoken about some people expected to testify at his criminal trial in Manhattan . His attacks on former lawyer Michael Cohen and adult film actress Stormy Daniels prompted several complaints from the prosecution, which on Tuesday asked the judge to fine Trump $1,000 for each of 10 alleged violations of the silence order.

But one person Trump hasn't publicly pursued is Pecker, the only witness to be called to the stand so far.

Rangappa, a legal commentator and former FBI agent, said the reason she thinks Trump hasn't attacked Pecker in public comments is because “from Trump's point of view, Pecker has a lot of power.”

Pecker, who previously served as chief executive officer and president of American Media Inc (AMI) between 1999 and 2020, offered half-hour testimony Monday, just after the case presented opening arguments. He returned to the stand Tuesday and is expected to continue his testimony Thursday.

“[Pecker] can create stories (including negative and even false) about HIM! So he has power/leverage; it’s not in Trump’s interest to upset him,” Rangappa wrote in a post on X on Wednesday.

During his testimony Tuesday, Pecker confirmed that he met with Trump and Cohen at Trump Tower in August 2015 and that the men asked him “what I can do and what my magazines could do to help.” [Trump’s 2016] “AMI's largest publication was the National Enquirer,” Pecker testified Monday.

In response, the former leader agreed to publish positive articles about Trump and negative articles about Trump's political opponents. He also offered to be the “eyes and ears” of the campaign, so that if he heard negative stories were being circulated to the media about Trump, he would tell Cohen, who would then make sure let these stories be killed.

Prosecutors say the three men “orchestrated a cover-up to interfere” with the 2016 presidential election by withholding negative information about Trump. Trump was indicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with the alleged hush money payment his campaign allegedly paid to Daniels in the run-up to the election. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair with Daniels.

Former President Donald Trump in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 23. Former publisher David Pecker spoke Tuesday. Former President Donald Trump in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 23. Former publisher David Pecker spoke Tuesday. Yuki Iwamura/Getty Images

Retired FBI agent David Gomez agreed with Rangappa, writing: “The two things Trump fears most are negative publicity from a real insider and threats to expose his corporate fraud.” »

Pecker's identity was a point of contention between the prosecution and defense.

Last week, Trump's lawyers took issue with District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office not giving them the names of the first three witnesses they planned to call to the stand, arguing that it It was a simple courtesy extended by the prosecutors. But the prosecutor's office said it was concerned about Trump's attacks on Cohen and Daniels, arguing that revealing their witnesses could put those individuals at risk of facing the same criticism from the former president.

The defense asked for only one of the three names and vowed not to share that name with Trump. The prosecution agreed to provide the name of the first witness Sunday evening, but warned that if Trump tweeted about them, it would be the last time they would extend this courtesy.

Pecker and Trump appear to remain friends even though Pecker is called as a prosecution witness. During a break Tuesday, Pecker was seen flashing a big smile at the defense table as he exited the courtroom. He also recalled having had “an excellent relationship” with Trump over the years.

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