National Enquirer faces new allegations of threats and intimidation

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Well, "The national enquirer's" parent company facing controversy this morning.

More big names are accusing Ami of threats and intimidation.

ABC's Lana Zak is in Washington with that story. Good

morning. Reporter: Good morning. Following the bombshell extortion allegations by

Jeff bezos, more people are now coming forward to claim

that they were harassed or intimidated by "The national enquirer,"

and its parent company, Ami. This morning, there are more

allegations against "The national enquirer," known for its eye-popping headlines

and scandalous scoops over the years and its publisher, Ami

run by David pecker, a long time friend and Alf

president trump. Investigative journalist Ronan farrow alleges while he was

looking into "The national enquirer's" relationship with the president, he

reived similar threats to what bezos outlines in this blog

post. He claims Ami urged him to stop digging, or

we'll ruin you. And Terry crews claims after an interview

wheree said he was sexually assaulted, another threat came from

radar online threatened him with a false story about prostitutes,

even allegedly creating fake receipts. He claimed they backed off

after Reporter: Federal prosecutors are trying to determine if the

tabloid company violated its inmum -- immunity deal made after

looking at finance violations that involved the tabloid killing stories

potentially damaging to Donald Trump before the election. Ami was

required to commit no crimes whatsoever for three years. That's

now in question after allegations that Ami attempted to extort

and blackmail bezos by threatening to release compromising photos and

texts between the billionaire and his alleged mistress, Lauren Sanchez.

According to bezos, Ami demanded he back off from his

investigation of the tabloid and issue what bezos called a

false public statement about Ami's political motivation. Now for their

part, Ami says they acted lawfully and in what they

call good faith negotiations with bezos, but Ami has not

responded to our repeated inquiries. Dan? We may hear more

from them thing. Lana, thank you very much. Let's bring

in George Stephanopoulos. Ll hear more from them this morning.

George will make sure because you have the attorney for

David pecker who is the CEO of Ami on the

show this morning we heard the legal analyst say she

thinks Ami must be panicking right now. How grave a

situation is this for pecker and Ami, and do you

think there are consequences for the president as well? There

are so many things tangled up in this. David pecker

is a longtime friend of the president and of course,

cooperating against him in that campaign finance case in the

southern district. "The national enquirer" has taken on -- has

taken back stories about the president, buried stories about president

trump and they go after Jeff bezos. Of course, bezos

owns "The Washington post" which has also been tough on

the president. There is so much tangled up in this

story. Right now what bezos is alleging is you see

it right there, extortion and blackmail. Whether it meets the

legal standard is one question. Whether it will threaten the

cooperation agreement that David pecker has with the southern district

is the second question and there is another question about

the journalists in practice to offer to bury a story

in return for something of value, a public statement from

Jeff bezos. We can answer that question, not proper journalistic

practice. I don't know about the law here. Let's look

back for a second at the big story out of

Virginia. We're still talking about it and I suspect we

will be for awhile. So "The New York Times" this

morning has an article that highlights what appears to be

a real dilemma for Democrats in Virginia. We may be

about to see a governor, a white governor accused of

racism who could survive, but a black lieutenant governor accused

of sexual assault who may be about to be impeached.

Right. You have got the attorney general wrapped up in

this. Also white. Also white. Now there is a difference

between wearing blackface I suppose and also being accused of

in some cases sexual assault, even rape, by women. People

are going to have to investigate and that's what the

attorney governor is calling for and whether these investigations are

true. In the short run, all three officials, top three

democratic officials in the state are hunkering down, digging in

determined to stay. Whether they will be able to stay

is separate question, but for now it seems like there

is almost safety in numbers for them. Ortham seems like

he's digging in. You very much. Always a pleasure to

see you on a Sunday morning. I want to remind

everybody George has a big show this morning. Thsive interview

with the lawyer representing Ami's CEO, David pecker and the

round table is coming up on "This week" later this

morning right here on ABC. Thank you ag Thanks, guys.

See you later.

2019-02-11
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