The National Enquirer’s decision to publish texts between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his mistress, Lauren Sanchez, continues to have ripple effects. Far beyond the usual trashy tabloid fodder, this story is becoming increasingly damaging to everyone involved. Bezos’ wife filed for divorce after the texts were published. Bezos has hired a security team to find out who was behind the leaked texts; the team found there was some evidence a “government agency” was involved, possibly from Saudi Arabia, where the royal family is angered by the Washington Post’s coverage of the murder of their colleague, journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
But the Daily Beast reports that multiple sources say the texts came from Lauren Sanchez’s brother, Michael Sanchez, who happens to pal around with Roger Stone, among other Trump-connected folks. Trump, of course, has frequently criticized Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post.
After Bezos’ team began to publicly identify Saudi Arabia as a possible source, Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for American Media, Inc., publisher of the Enquirer, appeared on ABC’s This Week to deny Saudi Arabia was the source, saying, “I’m not permitted to tell you, or confirm or deny, who the source is. I can tell you, it’s not Saudi Arabia. It’s not President Trump. It’s not Roger Stone. But I cannot tell you who the source is.”
Abramowitz said the source was “well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez”, another hint it was Michael Sanchez. Here’s that statement, and a denial that they tried to blackmail Jeff Bezos.
BREAKING: Elkan Abramowitz, the attorney representing AMI CEO David Pecker, responds to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s extortion and blackmail allegations exclusively on @ThisWeekABC: "It absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail" https://t.co/M26LgiCEnh pic.twitter.com/mPztEYQHQB
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 10, 2019
Gavin de Becker, the Bezos security consultant leading the investigation, told the Daily Beast that they had completed the investigation into who leaked and had already turned over evidence to law enforcement.
“Our investigation into who initially provided texts to the National Enquirer, and why it was done—that investigation is now complete. We have turned our conclusions over to our attorneys for referral to law enforcement,” de Becker told The Daily Beast on Sunday.
“Our investigation into what the National Enquirer and [publisher] AMI did after they received the initial texts—that investigation is ongoing,” he added.
What did happen after they received those texts? Did they share them with anyone else? Did they seek to use this material to blackmail Bezos? What was the end game? Who else knew they were going to drop this bombshell on Bezos?
A glance at Mike Sanchez’s Twitter feed shows him to be a big Trump supporter, with lots of bashing of CNN and the Washington Post,, alongside photos of him and other well-known Trump surrogates, including Carter Page and Scottie Nell Hughes.
Sex Spies & Videotape?
Thanks to Carter Page & Scottie Nell Hughes for putting Russia Hysteria in Context at Politicon 2018.
— Michael Sanchez (@mikey2go) October 21, 2018
His last two tweets are quite telling.
Gavin de Becker, @JeffBezos right hand man, spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories, "dog whistle" smears, with on-the-record quotes to trashy tabloids; all while his boss owns @washingtonpost & @Amazon. Huh? Remind me, who was in charge of security? #Truth pic.twitter.com/Idg2osaPfP
— Michael Sanchez (@mikey2go) February 1, 2019
Hypocrisy, stupidity or both?
Advise boss to replace beautiful ad with shameless, tone-deaf "Freedom of The Press" ad – while you & lawyer send letters to journalists & media counsel in what appears to be a desperate attempt to "Muzzle the Press."#Truth @washingtonpost pic.twitter.com/dAKUvZuRUu
— Michael Sanchez (@mikey2go) February 5, 2019
Thoughts and prayers, Sanchez. You’re gonna need them.