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FOCUS: Mistress' Brother Leaked Bezos' Racy Texts to Enquirer, Sources Say
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=45097"><span class="small">Lachlan Markay, The Daily Beast</span></a>   
Monday, 11 February 2019 11:33

Markay writes: "Multiple sources tell The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez, a Trumpworld associate and brother to Bezos' lover, gave the couple's texts to the National Enquirer."

Jeff Bezos. (photo: Daily Beast)
Jeff Bezos. (photo: Daily Beast)

Mistress' Brother Leaked Bezos' Racy Texts to Enquirer, Sources Say

By Lachlan Markay, The Daily Beast

11 February 19

Multiple sources tell The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez, a Trumpworld associate and brother to Bezos’ lover, gave the couple’s texts to the National Enquirer.

he brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast.

Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer.

The leaked texts, published last month, included notes from Bezos like, “I want to smell you, I want to breathe you in. I want to hold you tight.”

AMI has previously refused to identify the source of the texts, but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview on ABC.

“The story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Asked directly whether Sanchez was the source, Abramowitz said, “I can’t discuss who the source was. It’s confidential within AMI.”

An AMI spokesperson declined to comment for this story. Asked directly more than a half-dozen times whether or not he supplied the texts to the Enquirer, Sanchez declined to respond.

As The Daily Beast was the first to report, Bezos launched his own investigation into who leaked the texts with his mistress Lauren Sanchez, a long-time TV host and entertainment reporter who has made cameos in numerous movies and TV shows.

The security consultant he hired, Gavin de Becker, has repeatedly declined to disclose the findings of his investigation, including whether or not it had determined Michael Sanchez was the culprit. But he did say the probe is over and the results will be turned over to the authorities.

“Our investigation into who initially provided texts to the National Enquirer, and why it was done—that investigation is now complete. We have turned our conclusions over to our attorneys for referral to law enforcement,” de Becker told The Daily Beast on Sunday.

“Our investigation into what the National Enquirer and [publisher] AMI did after they received the initial texts—that investigation is ongoing,” he added.

The identity of the Enquirer’s source was only one of the many mysteries in a tale that is sordid and tangled, even by supermarket tabloid standards. Still unresolved: why Sanchez allegedly supplied the information to the Enquirer; why the Enquirer promoted a story about Bezos with such vigor; what, if anything this had to do with the Enquirer’s long-standing support for Trump; why its parent company was so bothered by the suggestion that it was motivated by “external forces, political or otherwise”; and why AMI tried to later coerce Bezos with a previously unreleased “d*ck pick.”

Documents reviewed by The Daily Beast show that Michael Sanchez believed the Enquirer pursued its story about Bezos with “President Trump's knowledge and appreciation”—a chase encouraged, in Sanchez’s estimation, by Republican operatives “who THINK Jeff gets up every morning and has a WaPo meeting to plot its next diabolical attack on President Trump.”

No one who spoke to The Daily Beast implied that Michael Sanchez in any way hacked his sister’s phone, and he has not been charged with any crime. In fact, three people familiar with the Bezos-funded probe told The Daily Beast in late January that it had found no evidence of a hack. However, Bezos’ investigators have strongly suspected Sanchez was the leaker since at least last week, according to two people familiar with the investigation. “There is no one inside this inquiry process who doesn’t believe he’s ground zero,” one of those sources said.

Abramowitz, the AMI lawyer, appeared to confirm this in his Sunday interview, saying, “Any investigator that was going to investigate this knew who the source was.”

The Daily Beast previously reported that de Becker had interviewed Sanchez as part of his probe. Of particular interest were his personal and business ties to some prominent figures in President Donald Trump’s orbit, including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes. (Her private emails, it should be noted, were once leaked to an AMI-owned publication.)

As The Daily Beast previously reported last week, documents show that Sanchez and Stone were in touch about the National Enquirer story in the days after it ran.

“I’ve never hacked anyone,” Stone told The Daily Beast, which had neither suggested or asked if he had. “I do know Michael Sanchez—very good guy.”

He certainly was a reliable and public supporter of the president. “For anyone too stupid or too bitter to admit Mueller’s pack of @POTUS-hating @TheDemocrats is leading an out-of-control witch hunt, read about @jerome_corsi," Sanchez wrote in a more-or-less typical tweet. “Muellerism = McCarthyism.”

According to the Washington Post, Sanchez said he had heard from AMI staffers that the tabloid operation was in the middle of “a takedown to make Trump happy.”

And it did. The cover story and the highly unusual 12-page spread that accompanied what the paper called its “largest investigation” ever prompted President Trump to tweet, “So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor.”  

Trump and AMI chief David Pecker have been friends for decades, and began working together professionally in the late 1990s, when a Pecker-led publishing company began putting out a quarterly, Trump-branded style magazine. In the years since, Trump was an extensive subject of and source for coverage by AMI-owned publications. And as Pecker has now admitted, he used AMI to buy up stories damaging to Trump and sit on them—a tactic known as “catch and kill”—most notably to bury the testimony of an alleged Trump mistress in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Pecker and his deputy, AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard, escaped prosecution for their roles in that scheme after agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. That office is now examining whether AMI may have violated that agreement. Presumably, the attorneys retained as part of Bezos’ probe will turn over what information they have to the Southern District.

Though de Becker declined to identify the attorneys, The Daily Beast has learned they include famed Watergate Special Prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, and William Isaacson, an partner at Boies Schiller Flexner. The firm has previously represented AMI.

Sanchez’s alleged involvement in the Bezos leak, and his ties to various Trumpworld figures, has informed investigators’ conclusions that the disclosure was at least in part politically motivated, a finding that drew intense efforts from AMI to insulate the Enquirer’s reporting from any allegations that they were seeking to please Trump, a close friend of AMI chief executive David Pecker.

But those efforts backfired in dramatic fashion last week, after Bezos publicly posted copies of emails sent by AMI executive Dylan Howard and lawyer John Fine. In one of those emails, Howard threatened to publish sexually suggestive photos of Bezos and Sanchez if The Washington Post didn’t back off its investigations of the Enquirer.

“American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise,” wrote Fine. “Any further dissemination of these false, vicious, speculative and unsubstantiated statements is done at your client’s peril.”

To Bezos, the mention of “external forces” seemed to suggest that AMI’s past promotion of the Saudi royal family might have informed its decision to pursue and publish with such unprecedented vigor its lengthy expose on Bezos’ affair. “For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve,” Bezos wrote.

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+6 # elizabethblock 2019-02-11 16:42
The National Inquirer has mistaken me - and probably a lot of other people - for someone who gives a ****.
+7 # HarryP 2019-02-11 17:16
It may well be true that Michael Sanchez is the source of the leak.

AMI and its lawyers are pushing that narrative. We’ll see if Sanchez, with his ties to AMI going back years, will be the fall guy - guilty or not. (Nixon tried to pay John Dean to play the role of the scapegoat. Dean, who indeed was guilty, refused the offer.)

Bezos, however is going after bigger fish. He suspects Trump and the Saudis of retribution. We know what the Saudis are capable of, a constant theme in Bezo’s WaPo. And we know Trump would like to put the hammer down on Bezos.

Pecker had the bad luck of taking on the richest man in the world. It’s one thing to threaten people who do not have the means to defend themselves. It’s another to take on a man with more than $100 billion in disposable income and who knows that, if he succumbs to blackmail, there will be no end to it.

This is just the prelim. The next rounds will be between Bezos and the MBS-DJT axis of evil. Their side will take prisoners.
+3 # Robbee 2019-02-11 19:21
Markay writes: "Multiple sources tell The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez, a Trumpworld associate and brother to Bezos' lover, gave the couple's texts to the National Enquirer."

- it's a small world?

cherchez le trump? was a dickhead involved?
-2 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-02-11 21:01
Is this really important??? It is the family's business, not the public. Did you ever respect THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER? No wonder the public thinks Trump and the Media are in the gutter.
Don't we have REAL problems to talk about???
-6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-12 07:54
Bezos is using his considerable wealth and influence to deflect attention away from him and on to others. It won't work. Harvey Weinstein tried the same thing and it did not work. He got caught with his pecker out and now he cannot walk away from it.

It just laughable when he says the Saudis or Roger Stone are behind the National Enquirer. Publishing scandalous photos (even when photoshopped) is what the tabloid media does. The WashPo even does the same thing.

As to threats, I have a friend who published a blockbuster article in the NYT in 2003. It was a revelation of the lies of the Bush regime. Most major media, including the WashPost and PBS, demanded that he withdraw his article and deny it. When he refused, they threatened him. PBS said he would never publish again in US media. And that is what happened. He disappeared from the press.

Powerful people threaten others all the time. That is how they operate. Bezos does it too. The real issue here is that Bezos does not like being outed. He OK outing others. But can't take the same medicine when applied to himself.
+6 # HarryP 2019-02-12 13:35
Rodion: How about some specifics on your friend and his blockbuster article in the NYT? What particularly puzzles me is how WaPo can demand “he withdraw...and deny” an article already published in another newspaper. How does that work?

And why would a 2003 article on W’s lies be controversial? Newspapers were filled with such articles, Especially the McClatchey chain. Then there were Plame and Wilson, etc. You had to be brain dead not to know that Bush was lying about Saddam’s WMDs.

You decry that your friend had been “threatened” - and the go on to defend Pecker’s threat. You constantly decry the “fake news” in the MSM - and then defend the Enquirer. Oh, I forgot, the Enquirer has long served the House of Trump. And now, the House of MBS.

It’ll enough to make a grown man cry.
+5 # DongiC 2019-02-12 08:23
The cookie jar has become a bear trap for AMI and their suffering has just begun. They tried to trap Jeff Bezos and got caught and all tied up by some salacious e-mails and videos. The wages of sin are surely death and dismemberment. Figuratively as well as politically.
+5 # NAVYVET 2019-02-13 07:21
The National Perspirer (MAD magazine's lampoon name, years ago, with a typical front page "photo" of a jackal throwing up) has been sued successfully more than once. The most enjoyable result I remember was Carol Burnett's win in court. She sued and collected when the Perspirer accused her of excessive boozing in public. She proved with witnesses, her medical history, and lifelong public testimonials that since her parents were alcoholics, she grew up seeing the worst of it & making a vow never to touch alcoholic beverages. Most of the country rejoiced!
+1 # NAVYVET 2019-02-13 07:03
WHO CARES what happens to Jeff Bezos??! Don't let RSN turn into another tabloid, raking up dirt on the self-styled Rich & Famous. We need substantial stories, not this prattle.
-1 # HDSMTS 2019-02-14 17:47
Classic honey trap and Bezos walked, texted, and a few other things right into it. But now the honey sees the possibility of a $2 billion wedding ring and brother Michael must take the fall. AMI may go down in the short term, but I expect the Post to slowly erode away over the long term.
+3 # rxfxworld 2019-02-14 18:49
It's called privacy mate. And we all cherish it, even billionaires. And if Trump/Pecker invade Bezos's it's a big deal. Think what they can do to you.
+3 # rxfxworld 2019-02-14 20:48
It's about privacy, mate and even billionaire's are entitled to some. esp where their personal communications are being used against them to potentially keep them from reporting honestly the activities of government. If that's not substantial enough consider what Jefferson had to say. "If the choice is between government and the press I'd rather have the press and no government than government and no press." And the press wasn't always "nice" to him. But then, he valued democratic government.