What EXACTLY are the charges being brought against Donald Trump in New York? Well, they’re hard to explain because for the most part…THEY MAKE NO SENSE! In this clip, Glenn is joined by Joe Tacopina, an attorney for the former president who will represent him in this case. Tacopina answers all of Glenn’s questions, and he explains why there IS NO CRIME to discuss. Plus, he explains why he took the case to begin with and why it shows that ‘rule of law is in danger in this country.’
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: He's just to save time, one of the most respected high stakes trial attorneys in America.
Joe Tacopina, and he joins us now. Joe, thank you so much for coming on.
JOE: Thanks, Glenn. I'll also tell you right off the bat, I don't think I can be able to help you. I heard you say, maybe I can help you figure out -- I can't help you at all. I really -- I can't figure it out for the life of me.
GLENN: Okay. So is this a -- when he was charged with, what? Thirty-four, 35 felonies, it's the same charge -- I said to the audience this morning, it's like if I said about my producer, that in an attempt to cover up a crime, Stu committed a crime. And saying that 35 times, and never defining what the crime was.
JOE: Boy, that's a pretty great assessment of this charge against him, I will tell you that..
Never say what the crime is. There's a legal requirement to do that.
They charged him -- this is a misdemeanor.
Falsifying business records. Which, Glenn, he didn't get close to that happening.
There's no falsified business records. If you want to go down that road, it's a misdemeanor.
The statute of limitations is long gone on that.
It would then have to cobble that together with another crime, which would also be another misdemeanor, to make it a felony.
So, in other words, to aid and abet or conceal another crime. And of course, who knows what the other crime was. Maybe it's drunk driving or something. Who knows.
But it's most likely violation of federal election laws. Because this was a federal campaign. And if you know anything about federal election laws, and apparently, he doesn't. It's very clear, that this is not something that falls under a violation of the Federal Election Commissions laws.
It's just not. And that's why they never berate charges against them.
That's why -- this is a personal expenditure. A personal civil suit that was settled. Like when Bill Clinton paid Paula Jones, $800,000 for alleged sexual assault. Not like a consensual relationship.
That was the same thing. Never was he charged with a crime.
Hillary Clinton apparently, you know, spent $100,000+ on the Steele dossier, right?
For her campaign. She used campaign money for that. Then used campaign money for that.
And you know what they classified that as? This is going to be ironic as everything. Legal expenses. Which obviously, you want.
So what does the FEC do?
She doesn't get indicted like Donald Trump does. She paid a fine of $100,000. You know, her campaign. So it's really -- the double standards are so -- so incredibly obvious to anyone, with a brain. And the fact that we hear -- is only because this man is running for president again. This happens to be a leading Republican contender. And the fact that Donald J. Trump --
GLENN: Okay. So let me just tick off a couple of quick questions. And see if you can help me answer.
With campaign finance. Is it the FEC turned -- passed this down. Said there was nothing there.
So is it possible that they're checking the Constitution. And Bragg is like, wait a minute. We're the ones that actually run the elections.
The state owns it. So he's coming up with some state campaign violation.
JOE: Yeah. It's not a state campaign. But even if he did identify it -- say we were talking about it.
And here's the bottom line: Regardless of whatever the -- the -- you know, twisted legal theory is: There is no crime.
JOE: Donald Trump actually did everything right here.
Here's someone who tried to extort money from him, okay?
For a consensual relationship, she claims. Although, later she said, she never had an affair with him, and Donald Trump adequately denies it.
But then said, I -- I need that money, or I go to the press. Okay. Extortion 101.
Then -- then he pays that money with personal funds, to resolve it. And, by the way, he only did that after his lawyer, the convicted fraudster and liar Michael Cohen resolved this without President Trump's (inaudible). He took down a loan. A home equity loan to finance this -- this civil settlement. And then -- and then later, billed Donald Trump for it.
He is the one who signed the settlement agreement. Donald Trump didn't even sign this agreement with Stormy Daniels.
And then later today -- and that's just to appease and get closer to Donald Trump.
He wanted to be in the White House in the worst way.
GLENN: Okay. So let me go to the crime then, that they say, the other thing they're throwing around is that this is a tax crime.
JOE: Tax crime.
GLENN: You haven't heard that one yet?
JOE: I've heard it. But let me hear what they --
GLENN: From what I understand, they're saying that Donald Trump I think overpaid his taxes, because he paid attorney's fees to Cohen, and that included the whatever it was. 130,000. Or whatever that payoff was.
STU: Paid him -- in a retainer, instead of paying him a reimbursement for the --
GLENN: Right. So he actually paid payroll taxes. Or paid the -- you know, paid the taxes that you would pay, you know, if you're paying an employee.
JOE: So, Glenn, I know how smart you are. And I'm a big fan of yours. Do you understand how much you stuttered during that --
GLENN: No. No. There's no way to make sense of it. I'm just trying to understand what they're saying.
JOE: Right. Exactly.
I know. I know. It's so hard to even articulate it. It's like, what?
Here's. Let me just say this. He never made a tax filing with those documents that they claimed were false because he never took a tax deduction. So, again, we live -- seriously, when you talk about selective prosecution. He -- he actually overpaid taxes for someone else. Therefore, it's a tax crime.
JOE: A lot of this people in the country are charged with crimes for overpaying their taxes. I mean, that's another legal theory.
That's very novel. I mean, it just gets better and better and better. It's really -- you know, it's a joke.
GLENN: Okay. So this would be a joke, if I thought we could get fair trials.
But I'm not sure you can get a fair trial in New York.
He has been -- Donald Trump is the worst -- he went from the king of New York, to the worst -- you know, worst than Hitler and Mengele combined, to New Yorkers. In New York City.
Plus, you have a judge, that should have recused himself. I mean, the actual information on the judge and his daughter, is staggering.
Can he be -- can you get a change of venue, or at least a new judge?
JOE: Look, here is the thing. We are going to be making ferocious motions in this case. They're going to cover every angle, to get this ridiculous case to be thrown out of court. It doesn't belong in court.
We are going to obviously consider whatever legal motions, including a recusal, change of venue, if they're appropriate.
GLENN: Is it appropriate, don't you think the recusal of the judge? I mean, that's a conflict of interest like crazy.
JOE: You would think. And these facts came out, you know, yesterday. Apparently, his daughter works for the vice president.
GLENN: Oh. And -- yeah.
JOE: Again, again, we have to be very methodical in our attacks here. We don't want to do anything with a knee-jerk reaction. We don't want to make emotional decisions. And we'll do all the research and everything we need to do. We have obviously several months to make these -- these motions.
And we're going to take our time and do them right. Because you have one bite at this apple.
And there is no scenario, where we're going to miss anything.
And any angle that we can take that -- that legitimizes our legal attacks on this case, have known to be successful. I don't just this case is ever going to see a jury, Glenn. I really don't.
They shouldn't see a jury -- but that would -- you know, but we would need to have intellectually honest judges to make sure that that happens. And hopeful, that we'll have one here.
GLENN: I talked to Andy McCarthy here, former prosecutor.
And he said, I always know it's a weak case. When you start to repeat the same charges.
And you just keep stacking him on.
He said, that's the first thing you're state in law school. Don't do that.
That's crazy. Have you ever seen the same charge, 34, 35 times?
Is this unprecedented or not?
JOE: No. It's not really unprecedented.
But I agree with Andy. It's a sign of weakness.
There have been several indictments, that they stack up charges. It's one act.
It's one scenario.
It's one factual scenario, that they're alleging as a crime, that's not a crime.
Understand, if Donald Trump, if this were truly a campaign expenditure, okay?
Donald Trump would have the right to pay with campaign funds. Because it would be a campaign expenditure, right?
He wouldn't be able to pay with campaign funds.
But if you, Glenn, for a second understand, the amount of people that will be paying from Donald Trump's scalp, had he paid this personal settlement with campaign funds -- I mean, they would be losing their mind. They would be saying, that's a fraud. It's not a campaign. It's personal. So he was damned if he did, damned if he didn't.
GLENN: Yes. Correct.
They pushed the next -- I guess the next trial date is -- is January 24th, right smack in the middle of the Iowa Caucus. Is that unprecedented to wait that long?
GLENN: That was a coincidence. I'm sure. Sure of it. Sure of it.
Well, no. It's not.
It actually should be longer.
When they have a case of this complexity, and, you know, this -- it's a case of pressure in many ways.
You know, what I will say is this: We have a situation, where we have to do motion.
We're not packing courts of the federal court. This should not be a trial in January. We want the trial to be pushed off further. Because we have to make sure we're touching every base here. And fighting on every legal point, that we could bring forth to challenge the suspicious indictment.
So there's no Russia to get the trial here. Again, I'm hopeful, we don't even get to that point. I really am.
A trial doesn't really happen within a couple of months.
This is a case where we don't even go back to court, until the next status conference. And this isn't a motion until December.
GLENN: I have to ask you this question: Because I've had a very good legal firm for quite some time. And they were the best on freedom of speech issues.
And they've dropped me. Because, you know, they have Google and everybody else.
And while they didn't say that, they just said, you know, we've got some other clients. And we just have to really -- I've been with them for 15 years. I know exactly what was going on.
You -- in reading, you know, your history, you're an amazing attorney. But this is -- let me ask this question: Humanitarian of the year, Reverend Al Sharpton's national action network. Man of the year award from New York State commission for social justice.
You are positioned in a place, where a New York attorney probably should be. You're taking on the enemy, Donald Trump, as your client. Are you not concerned?
I mean, thank you for being John Adams.
But are you not concerned about flushing your career down the toilet, in New York?
JOE: No. No, no, no.
Now, listen, I follow my own Constitution.
My knees don't buckle, Glenn. I do what I think is right.
When I took this case, it's because I realized how outrageous it was. And the rule of law is a danger in this country.
And for me, if I didn't have the courage to take this case, then I'm good for nothing.
If you can't be willing to fight something like this. And for that exact reason, I'm not one of those billing corporate law firms, where I know a lot of firms were in Texas. Because they were worried about the pull with other clients.
What I did was, look, I represented a lot of people who are politically opposite to Donald Trump. Right?
That being said, I spoke to some of them. I let them know. This is -- you know, it's something I believe in. And, look, I'm a litigator. And that's what I do. I litigate. I'm not a campaign lawyer. I'm not out there doing things that would be against what I would do as a civil litigator. I do the same thing.
I litigate. I don't get involved in collateral issues. I fight the case. And make sure that justice prevails.
GLENN: Sure. I mean, we used to agree on the Bill of Rights. And I don't just we do anymore.
JOE: No, no, no. And it's amazing that the justice system is being weaponized the way it is. We have crossed a Rubicon, that is going to be forever, forever damaging to this country.
And that's what scares the hell out of me.
Now -- Donald Trump, today or tomorrow, if some Democrat in Texas who -- Republican prosecutor says, you know what, I used to live in New York. I'm going to use the power of my office, to prosecutorial discretion -- which is powerful.
I'll leave it to him.
GLENN: Joe, there's no -- I mean, there have been crimes committed, by Hunter Biden in three different states, that are -- that are red states.
Why wouldn't the district attorney take those on?
JOE: Exactly. And that's -- and that's the point.
It's a political play here. And that's what really, really troubles me.
It's -- it's -- you know, I watched him try yesterday, that this was just something he would do against, any -- any person.
JOE: You charge people with falsifying business records. Which is a misdemeanor.
You know, 70 years later, which the statute of limitations would be gone on.
And tying it to a federal election campaign violation when you're a state prosecutor.
Federal authorities that said, there's no violation for him.
Yeah, well, timing has to do that absolutely.
I mean, I hear this disingenuous things. Is that false business charges all the time? Yeah, false business racketeering charges based on what?
I mean, it's so disingenuous, it's not even funny.
GLENN: Joe, I hope you're right, that this will never see a courtroom or a jury. We wish you the best. Pass on our best to Donald Trump.
Thank you, Joe Tacopina. He's the attorney for Donald Trump. And a good, a really good attorney.
I feel good having this guy represent Donald Trump.