One doesn’t just blackmail the world’s richest man without consequences.
Confirming earlier speculation, federal prosecutors are said to be reviewing the National Enquirer’s handling of its “extortion” involving Jeff Bezos’ extramarital affair to determine if the company violated an earlier cooperation deal with prosecutors, according to Bloomberg which notes that prosecutors in the Manhattan attorney’s office “were provided with information about key exchanges concerning Bezos.”
They are now reviewing whether there was any criminal activity or whether AMI, the National Enquirer’s parent company, violated an earlier agreement not to engage in criminal conduct. AMI reached that deal to avoid prosecution over its role to silence women who had relationships with President Donald Trump, agreements negotiated with his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Meanwhile, what had so far been the missing link from the story, namely, Sauydi Arabia, whose involvement with the Enquirer was reportedly the source of the entire fiasco, finally broke its silence when the Saudi Arabian envoy, Adel al-Jubeir, said the kingdom was not involved a fight between American Media Inc. and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
“I doubt it. I doubt it. We don’t have any dealings with — as far as I know, flat no,” al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, told reporters Friday when asked whether the kingdom was involved in the spat. He made the remarks during a news conference at the Saudi embassy in Washington.
“It’s a soap opera. It’s a soap opera,” he said of Bezos’s blackmail claim.
As reported last night, Bezos hired investigators last month to find out how the Enquirer obtained his texts and whether the story was politically motivated. In the blog post, he said the Post’s coverage of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder – a columnist for the newspaper who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year – “is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.”
More importantly, Bezos cited various media reports of links between American Media’s CEO David Pecker and Saudi Arabia in the blog post.
“Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation,” Bezos wrote. “For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”
Earlier on Friday, American Media said in a statement Friday that it believes it acted lawfully in reporting the story of Bezos and his extramarital affair, but that it will investigate the CEO’s blackmail and extortion claims.