Ari Melber, the host of MSNBC’s show “The Beat With Ari Melber”, invited Joe Tacopina, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, to discuss the prospect of the Manhattan District Attorney indicting the former president. As noted by a previous entry by the DC Enquirer the case against Mr. Trump relates to his “$130,000 non-disclosure payments to Stormy Daniels as an illegal election contribution”. While Mr. Melber had tried to advocate for the prosecution against Mr. Trump, the confrontation between him and Trump’s lawyer was a smackdown of the MSNBC host’s case.
It was such a smackdown that Jack Posobiec, a famous conservative senior editor of Human Events, tweeted “Trump’s lawyer just ate Ari Melber’s lunch live on air” and attached a video of the exchange.
The video begins with Mr. Melber accusing Mr. Trump of lying to the press when he was previously confronted about the matter of his payments to Stormy Daniels. He played a video where Trump was asked by the press if he know about the $130,000 payments to Stormy Daniels to which Mr. Trump replied in the negative and said the press should ask Michael Cohen, his lawyer at the time, about those allegations.
Mr. Tacopina responded that a lie to him (in the legal sense) was “something material under oath in a [court] proceeding”. To which Mr. Melber replied he didn’t say that Trump committed perjury but that he lied. In terms of building a legal case against the former President, lying in the sense that Melber is talking about is not by itself a crime.
Mr. Tacopina defended Mr. Trump that his statement to the press was due to the nature of a “confidential settlement [with Stormy Daniels] so if he acknowledged that [settlement], he would be violating the confidential settlement.” Hence, if Trump responded in the affirmative to that question posed by the press he would be in violation of a legally binding settlement. Tacopina explained that “by doing that [Trump responding in the negative to the press] he was abiding by not only his rights but Stormy Daniels’s rights.”
Mr. Melber replied that Mr. Trump could have just said no comment. Mr. Tacopina reaffirmed that Mr. Trump rightly abided by the confidential agreement and that “he [Trump] could have said no comment or could have said he didn’t know anything about it- which is what he did.”
The video then skips to Mr. Melber asking Trump’s lawyer about what is provably improper about the investigation into Mr. Trump by Manhattan district attorneys. Mr. Tacopina states that when Mark Pomerantz quit his job at a law firm to become a DA prosecutor against Mr. Trump in his own book commented that he was not paid for his service and that he would have paid to prosecute Mr. Trump.
Mr. Tacopina then said “Prosecutors are supposed to be blind when it comes to dishing out justice….then he [Mr. Pomerantz] goes in there looking for a crime to fit the person- it is not supposed to be that way in our system…then he signs a document and in that document, it states ‘if you reveal grand jury information’ – which is any information according to this document-‘that you get during this investigation…to a third party it is a felony under New York State law.”
Trump’s lawyer pointed out that the book that Mr. Pomerantz wrote violated this agreement and that he believeס that Mr. Pomerantz’s license would be taken from him and that the former DA may face criminal charges.
Mr. Tacopina also pointed out that in Pomerantz’s book, the case revolving around Stormy Daniels was referred to as a “zombie case” that no prosecutor would touch. When Mr. Melber later showed Trump’s payments to Mr. Cohen and touted this as evidence of Trump paying Stormy Daniels, Mr. Tacopina noted that all the payments showed what Trump gave money to Mr. Cohen and that Stormy Daniels was not mentioned in them. Mr. Tacopina said, “he was invoiced by Mr. Cohen for legal fees.”
Nothing in the video exchange between the two proved a violation of election laws which is what Trump is alleged to have done through these payments by the DA. Other legal authorities have taken issue with the thin nature of the case against Trump. Alan Dershowitz compared what was being done to how southern attorneys went after civil rights workers in the 1950s purely for political reasons and thin legal reasons.