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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission man who nearly died from COVID-19 at Abbotsford hospital reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Abbotsford author releases book of poetry and meditations

Sophia Campbell’s Hark Valley a depiction of her ‘spiritual journey’

Man wanted for ramming police car and almost hitting bystanders in Abbotsford

Police say Lorne Guilbault ‘engages in high-risk criminal driving behaviour’

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Cooling stations to open in Mission

Once the temperature hits 29 degrees Celsius, the stations will open

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Most Read