Donald Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, called a potential indictment against the former president “more likely” after defending Trump’s claim of not knowing about the secret payments to Stormy Daniels as “not a lie.”
Tacopina, considered one of the world’s top criminal defense attorneys after representing a number of high-profile clients, spoke out about Stormy Daniels following a sign of imminent action, including grand jury testimony from former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.
Trump continues to deny having a sexual encounter with Daniels, a former porn star, as he alleges happened in 2006.
In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, interviewer Dan Abrams pressed Tacopina about the $130,000 payment executed by Cohen.
Donald Trump’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said his client’s prosecution in the Stormy Daniels case is becoming “more likely.”
“When you’re about to run for office…” Tacopina began, prompting Abrams to chime in “in part,” before pointing to Cohen’s formal statements in the past that it was to shield Trump from embarrassment. .
According to Trump’s lawyer, the core of the defense is that if prosecutors wanted to bring felony charges, they would have to show that Daniels’ payment was made in conjunction with another crime. The undisclosed payment was not a campaign expense because the former president would have paid Daniels regardless of the campaign.
He also said he hopes Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office “doesn’t stoop to the level of Mark Pomerantz, who was looking for a crime to fit the person.”
Tacopina was referring to a memoir by former Manhattan Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz, who led the office’s investigation into Trump for a year beginning in February 2021.
In a letter sent last Friday to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, Trump’s lawyer accused Bragg and his predecessor, Cyris Vance, Jr., of conducting a “politically motivated investigation.”
Prosecutors “armed” their office, Tacopina wrote, “reviewing every aspect of President Trump’s personal life and business affairs, going back decades, hoping to find some legal basis, however implausible, novel or complicated, to prosecute him.” ‘. ‘
In an email to CBS NewsVance said, “It’s hard to argue that the previous investigations were politically motivated.”
‘You know, it’s getting more likely, I think now, but the only thing I’m still holding on to is the hope that justice will prevail’, Tacopina told News Nation in an interview Tuesday night.
In a separate interview with Ari Melber on MSNBC, Tacopina defended Trump’s denial to reporters on Air Force One of any knowledge of the payments to Daniels. She said the answer was ‘it’s not the truth’ but also ‘it’s not a lie’.
It was later revealed that Cohen made the payments and was reimbursed by Trump. Triumph accepted to reimbursements in 2018.
There has been a flurry of activity since Manhattan prosecutors began reviewing a ‘quiet’ payment scheme involving porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump denies having an affair and Tacopina said Trump’s comments denying knowledge of the scheme were “not a lie” due to a confidentiality agreement.
“Here’s why that’s not a lie,” Tacopina said. “Because it was a confidential agreement.” So if you were to acknowledge that, you would be in breach of the confidential agreement. So is it the truth? Of course, it is not the truth. Was he supposed to tell the truth? You would be in violation of the agreement if you told the truth.
Trump hired Tacopina in January to go after Pomerantz for alleged defamation after his resignation letter, which made it to the media, said Trump was “guilty of numerous felony violations.”
She is also representing Trump in his defense against a defamation lawsuit against E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1990s. Trump denies the allegations.
Tacopina has a colored, if not controversial, stable of celebrity clients and high-profile defendants, including former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, Michael Jackson and rapper Meek Mill.
Another client was Joran van der Sloot following the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and NYPD officer Thomas Wiese in connection with the infamous Abner Louima case. He also represented accused police-killer Lillo Brancato, who was convicted of attempted robbery in a 2005 incident in which an off-duty police officer was killed at his Brox home. He was acquitted of a murder charge.
He New York Post Office in 2011 he quoted a prosecutor as saying, “I can’t stand him”, adding: “He’s cunning, he’s got a big ego and he’ll represent any scum.”
A clip shared by the host showed the moment interviewer Ari Melber (left) brought up the lie that Trump did not know about the $130,000 payments to Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. Later, Trump’s attorney , Joe Tacopina (right), lunged forward and tried to grab Melber’s transcript.
Trump’s lawyer said Trump’s comment that he did not know about the hush money payments was not a lie, prompting Melber to exclaim, “Isn’t that a lie?!”, and Tacopina confirmed: “That’s it’s not a lie’.
Timeline of Trump secret payments controversy
2006: The alleged affair between Stormy Daniels and Trump occurred
2016: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 for his silence
2017: Trump began making monthly payments to Cohen to repay Daniels’ payment
2018: Cohen admitted to the secret payments, but Trump denied knowing anything about them. Later that year, Trump admitted to paying Cohen a monthly advance to repay the payments.
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told people that she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, years before he won the 2016 presidential election.
Ms Daniels said she met the former president at a celebrity golf tournament and had sex with him there.
Mr. Trump has vehemently denied the matter.
In 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had negotiated a secret $130,000 hush payment for Ms. Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
Cohen harshly criticized the former president after he stopped working for him.
In 2018, he acknowledged that he paid hush money to Daniels, even though Trump had denied knowing anything about the payment in front of reporters aboard Air Force One.
It turned out that Trump had paid Cohen, and he admitted in a series of Twitter posts that his lawyer received a “monthly retainer” that was used to “stop the false and extortionate accusations made by her (Ms. Daniels).” about an adventure
While Trump was the acting president of the US, he and Cohen had a public falling out, which included Trump calling his former lawyer a “rat” and “a weak person” while Cohen called him “a cheat”. , a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man’ in return.
Cohen served jail time after pleading guilty in two criminal cases, one of which involved the use of campaign funds in connection with Daniels and another woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump.
Trump’s former lawyer said he had been acting on his orders and the bribes were supposed to keep love stories out of the public eye ahead of the 2016 election.