FILE- In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington’s Milestone Celebration in Washington. Jeff Bezos, the world‚Äôs richest man and CEO of Amazon, is publicly accusing The National Enquirer in a blog post of trying to blackmail him by threatening to release more intimate photos of him unless he calls off an investigation into how that information was obtained in the first place. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Bezos probe concludes mistress’ brother was Enquirer source

The findings add to the intrigue surrounding the clash between the pro-Trump tabloid and the world’s richest man

Private investigators working for Jeff Bezos have concluded that the brother of the Amazon CEO’s mistress leaked the couple’s intimate text messages to the National Enquirer, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

The findings add to the intrigue surrounding the clash between the pro-Trump tabloid and the world’s richest man. Bezos’ investigators have suggested the Enquirer’s coverage of his affair was driven by dirty politics. Trump has been highly critical of Bezos over his ownership of The Washington Post and Amazon, and the Post’s coverage of the White House.

The brother, Michael Sanchez, is a supporter of President Donald Trump and an acquaintance of Trump allies Roger Stone and Carter Page. He is also the manager of his sister, Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor. The investigators have not said how they believe Michael Sanchez came into possession of his sister’s intimate messages.

Michael Sanchez did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday. In a Jan. 31 tweet, he said without evidence that Bezos’ longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, who is leading the private investigation, “spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories.”

An attorney for the tabloid’s parent company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

On Sunday, an attorney for the head of American Media, which owns the Enquirer, said that the information for the story had been provided by a “reliable source” well-known to Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. The source had provided information to the company for at least seven years, Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for American Media Inc. chief executive David Pecker, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He was asked if Sanchez was the source and he said: “I’m not permitted to tell you or confirm or deny who the source is.”

But the Daily Beast, citing people inside American Media, Inc., reported that Sanchez was the Enquirer’s source.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Bezos ordered the investigation after the Enquirer published a story about the affair last month. The investigators have since turned over the results of their probe to attorney Richard Ben-Veniste for review and possible referral to law enforcement. Ben-Veniste had served as special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.

Bezos has said AMI threatened to publish explicit photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained his private exchanges, and publicly declared that the Enquirer’s coverage of him was not politically motivated.

Federal prosecutors are also looking into whether the Enquirer violated a co-operation and non-prosecution agreement that recently spared the tabloid and top executives from charges for paying hush money to a Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Trump, two people familiar with the matter told the AP. The people weren’t authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

___

Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak and Jim Mustian in New York contributed to this report.

___

Zeke Miller, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

County of Paintearth bringing in new payment method for ratepayers

County will soon able to accept major credit-cards

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Castor’s Covenant Health an employer of choice in Alberta

Covenant Health staff help keep Alberta’s communities strong by creating fulfilling workplaces

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read