A report by The Daily Beast published Sunday alleges that the source of Jeff Bezos' leaked scandalous texts at the center of the public feud between the Trump-friendly National Enquirer and Amazon's founder, CEO, and president was the brother of Bezos' mistress and a "Trumpworld associate."
"The brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast," the outlet reports. "Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer."
Sanchez, The Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay writes, has "personal and business ties to some prominent figures in President Donald Trump’s orbit, including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes," and has made his support of Trump publicly known, including in this "a more-or-less typical" tweet:
For anyone too stupid or too bitter to admit Mueller’s pack of @POTUS-hating @TheDemocrats is leading an out-of-control witch hunt, read about @jerome_corsi. Muellerism = McCarthyism.
Though AMI has resisted revealing the source of the texts — which include some hot one-liners, like, "I want to hold you tight" — The Daily Beast notes that a lawyer for the company "strongly hinted" that Sanchez was the source during an interview with ABC Sunday. In the interview, attorney Elkan Abramowitz said the source was "well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez." Sanchez, meanwhile, has declined answering multiple direct questions about his possible role in the leaks.
The Daily Beast, which has been tracking the story of Bezos' private investigation into the leaked texts, spoke with Bezos' security consultant Gavin de Becker, who said they've wrapped up the leak investigation. "We have turned our conclusions over to our attorneys for referral to law enforcement," he told the outlet Sunday, but declined giving further details. Their investigation into how the National Enquirer and AMI handled the story, de Becker noted, is "ongoing."
The Daily Beast underscores that there is no indication that Sanchez hacked his sister's phone and that he hasn't been charged with any crime, noting that the Bezos investigation found no evidence of hacking.
The outlet also underscores the potential political angle on the sordid public feud:
The identity of the Enquirer’s source was only one of the many mysteries in a tale that is sordid and tangled, even by supermarket tabloid standards. Still unresolved: why Sanchez allegedly supplied the information to the Enquirer; why the Enquirer promoted a story about Bezos with such vigor; what, if anything this had to do with the Enquirer’s long-standing support for Trump; why its parent company was so bothered by the suggestion that it was motivated by “external forces, political or otherwise”; and why AMI tried to later coerce Bezos with a previously unreleased “d*ck pick.”
Documents reviewed by The Daily Beast show that Michael Sanchez believed the Enquirer pursued its story about Bezos with “President Trump's knowledge and appreciation”—a chase encouraged, in Sanchez’s estimation, by Republican operatives “who THINK Jeff gets up every morning and has a WaPo meeting to plot its next diabolical attack on President Trump.”
The battle between the National Enquirer and Bezos went nuclear when the outlet published a lengthy expose piece on his affair that it proudly presented as its "largest investigation" ever. AMI Chairman and CEO David Pecker has had a long personal and business relationship with Trump, dating back to the late 1990s and has been accused of helping then-candidate Trump bury damaging stories in 2016.