Former President Donald Trump declared Saturday that he would be arrested on Tuesday for payments he allegedly made to stripper Stormy Daniels.
Trump said the Manhattan district attorney is preparing to indict him for “hush money” payments he supposedly made to Daniels in 2016. Trump’s critics contend he paid off Daniels to keep her quiet about an affair so as to not hurt his first presidential campaign.
But earlier this week, Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told MSNBC that the former president was simply following the legal advice of his former lawyer, who was later convicted on federal charges and sentenced to prison.
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Daniels claimed the affair occurred in 2006. Trump has denied it.
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, reportedly paid Daniels $130,000 on his client’s behalf to buy her silence.
Attention on the case revved up this week after Daniels met with left-wing DA Alvin Bragg’s office.
But Tacopina said the former president has committed no crime.
Cohen, Tacopina told MSNBC, “advised him that this was the proper way to do this to protect himself and his family from embarrassment. It’s as simple as that.”
“That is not a crime. It’s not a crime.”
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“The payments were made to a lawyer, not to Stormy Daniels. The payments were made to Donald Trump’s lawyer, which would be considered legal fees,” he said.
“His lawyer classified them as legal services,” Tacopina continued.
“His lawyer sent him an invoice for legal services. His lawyer told him they would be properly classified as legal services. He relied on his lawyer. This was how Michael Cohen structured this.”
Tacopina characterized the payment to Daniels as an effort to end “a nuisance settlement” instead of trying to influence the election.
“It’s to make a problem, an embarrassing problem, go away,” Tacopina said.
Tacopina also told MSNBC that Trump and his legal team are “shocked” that the case “has gotten this far,” based on the facts.
“I still hold out hope that they’re not going to do this, because I think this will be an enormous stain on the legacy of that district attorney,” Tacopina added.
“If they bring this case, I believe this will catapult him into the White House. I believe it, because this will show how they’re weaponizing the justice system.”
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On Saturday, Trump announced the pending arrest and called for protests.
“NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK,” Trump announced on his social media platform, Truth Social.
“PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!,”
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