AP: National Enquirer kept safe with damaging Trump stories

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned the National Enquirer kept a safe for documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed amid its cozy relationship with Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

The detail came from people familiar with the arrangement as media outlets reported Thursday federal prosecutors had granted immunity to Enquirer chief David Pecker, potentially laying bare his efforts to protect his longtime friend Trump.

Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations alleging he, Trump and the tabloid were involved in buying the silence of a porn actress and a Playboy model who alleged affairs with Trump.

Trump’s account of his knowledge of the payments has shifted.

Enquirer parent company American Media hasn’t commented. It previously rebuffed any suggestion it had leverage over Trump because of its practices.