When the National Enquirer’s owner agreed to cooperate in a campaign finance investigation of its payment to a former Playboy model, it obtained an immunity deal that federal prosecutors warned could be voided if the tabloid owner committed any crimes afterward.
Less than five months later, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, claimed publicly that American Media Inc. had threatened to publish salacious photos of him and his mistress, Lauren Sanchez, unless he ended an investigation into how the National Enquirer obtained racy, private messages between the two and said publicly the tabloid’s coverage wasn't politically motivated.
“If prosecutors find that this exchange with Jeff Bezos was an additional crime, then they have the right to void the agreement,” said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice. “Watching your nonprosecution agreement with a cooperating witness fall apart is the last thing you want to see happen, because it creates a giant headache.”
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