Looks as if the Sanchez family is in for an awkward Easter.
The Daily Beast reports that Michael Sanchez, brother of Jeff Bezos’s mistress Lauren Sanchez, was the source who provided the couple’s texts and private photos to the National Enquirer.
The leak came to light in January, when the Enquirer published some of the texts along with an in-depth story about the affair driving Bezos’s divorce from his wife of 25 years. It also pushed Bezos to hire investigators to find the leaker. Last week, Bezos published an extraordinary letter alleging that AMI, the Enquirer’s parent company, tried to blackmail him to say that there had been no “political motive” behind the publication of the texts.
The “no political motive” stance is difficult to credit. Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has aggressively investigated Trump, his various crooked businesses and his presidential campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election. This has set off Trump’s very itchy Twitter finger more than once.
Meanwhile, AMI is owned by David Pecker, a close friend of Trump who has already been implicated in schemes to buy and suppress unflattering stories about the president. The Enquirer has offered up lots of pro-Trump coverage over the last few years while going after his political opponents. To suggest that the tabloid would have no political motive for hurting someone Trump apparently views as one of his biggest enemies is a bit like suggesting rain would have no motive to make the ground wet.
In his letter, Bezos also hinted that Saudi Arabia might be somehow involved in the leak. This has led to lots of speculation by the media that perhaps the Mideast nation whose rulers Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have cozied up to might have somehow hacked Bezos’s phone or intercepted the texts between he and his mistress, then turned that information over to the Enquirer.
Given all of that, it would make sense for AMI to try and anonymously pin the leak on Michael Sanchez. He is a hardcore Trump fan and friend of Roger Stone, the president’s former advisor who was just indicted on several felony counts related to the Russian collusion investigation. It would certainly be in AMI’s interest to claim they got the texts and photos via a conventional journalism source instead of, say, the foreign intelligence service that reports to a Mideast potentate. A foreign intelligence service that has drawn the ire of Americans by having a hand in murdering a Washington Post journalist inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, no less.
For his part, Bezos’s investigator, Gavin de Becker, would only say that his investigation into who turned the photos over to AMI was complete and had been referred to law enforcement. Since all of the Beast’s sources saying it was Michael Sanchez come from inside AMI, it seems reasonable to think that story could change.
Either way, everyone will want to be a fly on the wall at the next Sanchez family reunion.