Ex-National Enquirer head David Pecker testifies before NY grand jury
Former head of the National Enquirer David Pecker left the Manhattan courts Monday afternoon amid reports the grand jury had reconvened to hear from another witness in the case of Donald Trump’s hush money payment.
It comes as new reports emerge that the grand jury did not vote on Monday on whether to indict the former president after hearing testimony from Pecker – but are expected to reconvene on Wednesday.
Pecker, who was photographed by DailyMail.com leaning over in the back of a car leaving the courthouse on Monday, was involved in controversy surrounding the 2016 presidential election when he bought exclusive rights to stories that could be damaging to Trump’s campaign.
The Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump’s alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels reconvened Monday afternoon to hear more evidence as the city remains on knife’s-edge waiting to see if the ex-president will be indicted for a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Former head of the National Enquirer David Pecker (pictured right leaning over) was seen leaving the Manhattan courts Monday afternoon amid reports the grand jury had reconvened to hear from another witness in the case of Donald Trump’s hush money payment
Under tight security following last week’s death threat, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg walks into the New York City courthouse on Monday, March 27 as the grand jury in Trump’s hush money case reconvenes
Monday is the first time the panel is meeting in conjunction with the hush money case since last week when they heard testimony from a witness favorable to Trump. The jurors broke the normal cadence by not meeting on Wednesday and convening Thursday to hear matters on a separate case.
The grand jury is now back on Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter. It was not immediately clear whether an additional witness might be called before the panel.
Reports emerged that a witness could appear to counter testimony delivered by lawyer Robert Costello on March 21.
Costello’s testimony was a rebuttal of two-days of testimony earlier this month from Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who made the $130,000 payment to Daniels that is now in question.
Pecker is linked to the case due to an investigation that he used his role burying unfavorable stories as Trump when he was CEO of American Media, Inc. (AMI), which is the publisher of the Star, the Globe, the National Enquirer, and the Weekly World News.
Pecker offered during an August 2014 meeting with Trump to use the National Enquirer to find, intercept and kill any allegations of sexual affairs against him.
AMI and Pecker came under investigation in 2018 for buying the rights to these stories and then refusing to publish them.
Trump’s attorney at the time Michael Cohen requested AMI buy the rights to Daniel’s story, which Pecker refused. Later, during a February 2019 testimony, Cohen told the House Oversight Committee during a hearing that he and Pecker worked together to ‘catch and kill’ stories that could damage Trump.
Pecker was removed as AMI CEO in August 2020 but was kept on as executive advisor.
Trump alleged last weekend that he would be arrested as early as Tuesday, launching demonstrations in and against his indictment in New York, Washington, D.C. and near his Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago.
This put police on high-alert, with all 36,000 NYPD officers in uniform and on stand-by for deployment should unrest ensue.
A car leaves the garage of the state office building in Manhattan on Monday after reports emerged that David Pecker met with the grand jury investigating Trump
Pecker was pictured leaning over as cameras flashed into his vehicle as he left the the Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building in Manhattan, New York on Monday, March 27, 2023
Trump railed against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a post on social media on Monday morning.
‘Can you imagine? I am leading the opposition within the Republican Party by 30 plus, and Biden by 6 plus, and everyone is waiting to hear from a local George Soros backed D.A., who has watched Violent Crime in Manhattan soar to Record Highs, as to whether or not he is going to ‘criminally indict’ me for NO CRIME,’ Trump added.
The former president raised anticipation that criminal charges were imminent with a March 18 post on his social media platform in which he said he expected to be arrested last Tuesday.
He has since used the absence of an indictment or arrest to claim that the investigation is somehow faltering.
Meanwhile, sources have told DailyMail.com that Bragg is having trouble convincing the grand jury to indict, with one court source saying he has a ‘weak’ case.
Trump has escalated his rhetoric in recent days, warning that ‘potential death & destruction’ would accompany any indictment.
He also posted a photo of himself holding a baseball bat next to a picture of District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat. On Thursday, Trump referred to Bragg, Manhattan’s first black D.A., as an ‘animal.’
A canine unit provides security at the state office building where a grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump meets in New York, Monday, March 27, 2023
People make and hold signs about former President Trump outside of Manhattan Criminal Court, Manhattan, New York