Shortly after it was first reported that National Enquirer honcho David Pecker was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation in the investigation of Trump and Michael Cohen, it was also reported that Pecker literally kept all his dirt on Trump locked in a safe.
How much dirt are we talking about?
According to the New York Times, Trump and Cohen actually tried to buy the "dirt" from Pecker which stretches all the way back to the 1980s.
He and his lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen, devised a plan to buy up all the dirt on Mr. Trump that the National Enquirer and its parent company had collected on him, dating back to the 1980s, according to several of Mr. Trump’s associates.
The existence of the plan, which was never finalized, has not been reported before. But it was strongly hinted at in a recording that Mr. Cohen’s lawyer released last month of a conversation about payoffs that Mr. Cohen had with Mr. Trump.
“It’s all the stuff — all the stuff, because you never know,” Mr. Cohen said on the recording.
Yes, you never know.
My first, immediate thought after I read this was that whatever Pecker has in his possession, foreign intelligence agencies probably have it, too. It also occurred to me that whatever the worst thing Pecker has in his possession is, the Russians probably have something even worse. And I don't mean the pee tape.
There's a popular media narrative that presumes that Trump is immune to blackmail because his base will support him no matter what happens, but everything we know tells us he is personally terrified of being blackmailed. He's gone to far too much trouble to buy the silence of people who know things about him, and what they know is not necessarily that big of a deal compared to what may be possible.
Does he have illegitimate children? How many abortions has he paid for? How young were the Russian girls on the infamous pee tape? We don't know the answer to these questions, but David Pecker and foreign intelligence agencies might.
It's not clear if prosecutors are in possession of Pecker's cache of dirt, but at the very least they're probably vaguely aware of what's in it if Pecker hasn't told them already.