Private investigators who work for Jeff Bezos They concluded that the brother of the mistress of the CEO of Amazon leaked the intimate text messages from the couple to the National Enquirer, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.
The person was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly so he asked to speak on condition of anonymity.
The findings add to the intrigue surrounding the confrontation between the tabloid and the richest man in the world.
Bezos researchers have hinted that the Enquirer's coverage of his extramarital romance was motivated by dirty politics. The Enquirer provides favorable coverage for Trump, and Trump has been a harsh critic of Bezos for his ownership of the newspaper The Washington Post and Amazon, and for the coverage of the newspaper about the White House.
The brother, Michael Sanchez, is a Trump supporter and known Roger Stone and Carter Page, allies of the president. He is also the representative of his sister, Lauren Sanchez, a television express. Investigators have not said how they think Michael Sanchez got his sister's intimate messages.
Michael Sanchez has not replied to a message sent for comments. In a tweet published on January 31, he said without evidence that Bezos security consultant, Gavin de Becker, and who is in charge of the private investigation, "discloses false conservative and deranged conspiracy theories"
A lawyer for the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., has not responded to an email sent for comment.
On Sunday, an attorney for the director of AMI said that the information in the story had been provided by a "reliable source" that is known to Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.
The source had given the company information for at least seven years, said Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for AMI CEO David Pecker, on ABC's "This Week."
When asked if Sanchez was the source, he replied: "I am not allowed to say, confirm or deny who the source is"
However, the Daily Beast, citing people within AMI, reported that Sanchez was the source of the Enquirer.
Bezos ordered the investigation after the Enquirer published a note about the affair last month. The investigators have delivered the results of their investigation to the lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste for review and possible referral to the authorities. Ben-Veniste had served as special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.