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Trump Lawyer Goes Full Rudy In Bizarre Defense Of Former President: Lies Are Not Lies



Trump lawyer Joseph Tacopina

Donald Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina suggested during an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday that his client lying about the hush money he paid porn actress Stormy Daniels is not technically lying because he had her sign a confidentiality agreement.

In a bizarre moment during the interview, Tacopina reached for MSNBC host Ari Melber’s papers live on air as Melber was reading from a transcript of Trump saying that he didn’t know of the hush money payment to Daniels made during the 2016 campaign to prevent her from going public with her claim that she had an affair with Trump in 2006.

Merbel then played a clip of Trump being questioned by the press on whether he was aware of the payment of $130,000 to Daniels.

In response, Tacopina claimed that Trump hadn’t been lying when he said he wasn’t aware of the payments, prompting Melber to read from the transcript at which point the lawyer reached for the document.

“I want to get the benefit of your response,” Melber told Tacopina before proceeding to read from a report by The New York Times.

“‘Prosecutors could argue that $130,000 became a donation to Trump’s campaign under the theory the money was silencing Daniels.’ So, two-part question. Why lie about this and why misidentify the payment if it was legal? And second, your response to that theory of the case?” he asked.

“This is Donald Trump paying with his own money,” Tacopina said. “First of all, there’s a crucial distinction between separating campaign funds from personal funds, right? And on personal fund usage, here’s the bright line test. And it ends this case. It ends any case regarding Stormy Daniels.”

“If the spending or the fulfillment of a commitment or the expenditure would exist irrespective of a campaign, it’s not a campaign law violation. End of story. This would … exist irrespective of the campaign,” he claimed.

“You’re making a potential defense that he would’ve paid this out, regardless?” Melber asked.

“Not only would I say that. His lawyer at the time, who pled guilty to all sorts of lies and frauds, who’s now a cooperator, said that under oath. He said that under oath,” Tacopina said, referring to Cohen.

“Outside of that campaign year, in his other many years on planet Earth, has he ever made a payment like this?” the host asked.

“I have no idea, Ari. I have no idea,” the lawyer said. “But Donald Trump is a litigious individual, who gets sued by a lot of people, okay?”

“And all the time, things are settled. I’ve represented hundreds of people in similar situations where they make payments for what’s called a nuisance statement. Look, $125,000 [sic] to you it’s nothing, but to me, it would be important,” he added. “But to Donald Trump, it’s what’s called a nuisance settlement, okay? And when you do that, it’s to make a problem, an embarrassing problem, go away. Doesn’t mean it’s real, because he vehemently denies an affair. So, it doesn’t mean it’s real or not. It means you’re settling something to not have to deal with the aggravation of it.”

“If all of what you say is true, then why was Trump hiding it and lying about it at the time?” Melber asked and then went on to play the clip of Trump.

“If that’s what you’re gonna consider a lie, a lie to me is something material under oath in a proceeding,” Tacopina said of the clip in which Trump denies knowing about the payment to Daniels.

After a heated back and forth, Tacopina said, “here’s why it’s not a lie,” before he reached for the paper Melber was holding. “Could you put the paper down? Put the paper down. Let me answer.”

“Here’s why it’s not a lie. Because it was a confidential settlement,” he argued. “So, if he acknowledged that, he would be violating the confidential settlement. So, is it the truth? Of course not it’s not the truth! Was he supposed to tell the truth? He would be in violation of the agreement if he told the truth. So, by him doing that, by him doing that he was abiding by, not only his rights but Stormy Daniels’ rights.”

“It seems like we’re drawing some blood here because you’re having a strong reaction. He did lie about it and in a confidential settlement, you can easily say, ‘No comment’ or ‘I’m not getting into it’,” the MSNBC host said.

Cohen has handed over evidence to prosecutors, such as voice recordings of conversations he had with an attorney representing one of the women, in addition to emails and texts. He also has a recording of Trump speaking about paying the other woman through a deal with the National Enquirer.

Legal experts have said that Cohen’s testimony could be used in an effort to hand down an indictment against Mr Trump for falsifying business records. No ex-president has ever been charged with a crime in US history.



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