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Home / Business / Exclusive: Jeff Bezos meets with federal prosecutors on extortion and hacking claims

Exclusive: Jeff Bezos meets with federal prosecutors on extortion and hacking claims



Plans for that meeting come as prosecutors in the southern district of New York, seeking to access Bezo's electronic devices, these people said. They are trying to investigate Bezos private investigators' claim that Saudis "received private information" from their phone and that such information was terminated in the hands of American Media Inc., which was published by the National Enquirer, which released Bezos texts.

Lawyers of Bezos, the world's richest man, have been engaged in negotiations on his electronics. In recent weeks, Bezos lawyers and investigators have turned to federal authorities documents and other material from their own request, but not his entities, these people said.

Bezos has suggested that he became a target for the Saudis because of his ownership of The Washington Post and its coverage of the murder of his columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to this development, Bezos has expanded its legal team and added lawyer Matthew Schwartz, a partner in the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, who spent decades as a federal prosecutor in New York, the people who are familiar with the case tell.

Schwartz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the US law firm refused to comment. A spokesman for the FBI refused to comment.

It is not clear whether federal prosecutors have independent evidence to confirm the allegation that Saudis hacked Bezos phone or had any connection with National Enquirer's story of his affair.

Since February, the prosecutors have investigated Bezo's claim that the publisher attempted to repress him after he sought to determine how the national inquirer had access to private texts he exchanged with a woman named Lauren Sanchez, with whom he had an extramarital affair. .

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Prosecutors have investigated the extortion responsibility in part to determine whether the actions of the National Enquirer publisher, American Media, violated a non-persecution agreement that struck last year with prosecutors. As part of this deal, company officials admitted that they were involved in a hush-money scheme to influence the presidential election in 2016 by deleting a woman claiming an affair with candidate Donald Trump and agreeing not to commit crimes for three years .

The deal comes from the prosecutor's investigation of Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who helped orchestrate the hush-money payment.

Prosecutors have not reached a decision on extortion claims, according to a person familiar with the investigation, and they are now working to investigate another set of claims – those made in the month of Bezos security consultant, Gavin de Becker.

"Our investigators and several experts concluded with great confidence that Saudis had access to the Bezos phone and received private information," de Becker wrote in a Daily Beast's opinion paper. "It is unclear to what extent, if any, AMI was aware of the details."

De Becker wrote that while his investigation found that AMI had paid Sanchez's brother, Michael Sanchez, for the information on Bezos, Saudis was the original source of at least some of the material.

Bezos himself had suggested in his own netpost that he had become the enemy of Saudi Arabia and Trump due to coverage of the Khashoggi murder in the Washington Post, and pointed out that AMI had long tried to congratulate both the kingdom and the president.

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A publisher spokesman has said "American Media does not, or have we ever had, any editorial or economic ties to Saudi Arabia."

After the release of the Becker & # 39; s op ed, the publisher issued a statement stating that Sanchez alone was the source of the reporting. "Despite the US and US defaulted claims, American Media has, and continues to, disprove the claims that the materials of our report were acquired by someone other than the single source who first brought them to us, the company said." no involvement of any other third party whatsoever. "

A lawyer for AMI director David Pecker, Elkan Abramowitz, said in February that the source of the history of the tabloid was" not Saudi Arabia. "

Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia Former Secretary of State told CBS News that the government had "nothing to do with" the case. , and in the case of a hacking requirement, hand access to the electronics allegedly compromised.


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