By Steve Neavling
Federal investigators who raided the office and hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal attorney are zeroing in on the National Enquirer over payments to an ex-Playboy model and a former doorman who said he had juicy information on Trump having an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower.
The Associated Press reports  that the Enquirer, the nation’s largest tabloid, paid $30,000 to ex-doorman Dino Sajudin for exclusive rights to the rumor about Trump fathering a child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper the president owns near the United Nations.
The National Enquirer never ran the story, effectively keeping the rumor quiet. The penalty for revealing the rumor to anyone else would subject Sajudin to a $1 million payment to the National Enquirer.
The FBI raided the office and hotel room of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen earlier this week over a $130,000 payment he said he made to porn star Stormey Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006.
The AP wrote:
On Wednesday, an Enquirer sister publication, RadarOnline, published details of the payment and the rumor that Sajudin was peddling. The website wrote that the Enquirer spent four weeks reporting the story but ultimately decided it wasn’t true. The company only released Sajudin from his contract after the 2016 election amid inquiries from the Journal about the payment. The site noted that the AP was among a group of publications that had been investigating the ex-doorman’s tip.
During AP’s reporting, AMI threatened legal action over reporters’ efforts to interview current and former employees and hired the New York law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, which challenged the accuracy of the AP’s reporting.
Asked about the payment last summer, Dylan Howard, the Enquirer’s top editor and an AMI executive, said he made the payment to secure the former Trump doorman’s exclusive cooperation because the tip, if true, would have sold “hundreds of thousands” of magazines. Ultimately, he said the information “lacked any credibility,” so he spiked the story on those merits.
“Unfortunately…Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away,” Howard told RadarOnline on Wednesday.
But four longtime Enquirer staffers directly familiar with the episode challenged Howard’s version of events. They said they were ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads.