An interview between MSNBC’s Ari Melber and Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, got extremely heated Tuesday.
Melber criticized Tacopina with multiple loaded questions regarding allegations Trump gave payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels and Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021.
Melber claimed Trump lied about a wire payment to Daniels back in the 2016 election cycle. “Prosecutors could argue that $130,000 became a donation to Trump’s campaign under the theory the money was silencing Daniels…Why lie about this and why misidentify the payment if it was legal? And second, your response to that theory of the case?”
Tacopina defended the former president, as tensions rose. “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,” Tacopina said.
“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’ve existed irrespective of the campaign,” he continued, at one point even reaching to grab a document Melber was holding.
“Ari, that is–if that’s what you’re gonna consider a lie, a lie to me is something material under oath in a proceeding,” an irritated Tacopina told Melber.
“I didn’t say perjury. I said a lie,” a defensive Melber fired back. “Could you put the paper down, put the paper down, we don’t need that,” Tacopina added.
Trump defense lawyer Joe Tacopina lunges for receipts on “The Beat.” pic.twitter.com/ysUbZKHmXY
— The Beat with Ari Melber 📺 (@TheBeatWithAri) March 15, 2023
“Here’s why it’s not a lie. Because it was a confidential settlement. So, if he acknowledged that, he would be violating the confidential settlement.,” Tacopina went on, denying Trump lied under oath, contesting Trump would have violated a confidentiality agreement if he responded.
“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.”
Trump is currently facing a potential indictment from the Manhattan district attorney’s office related to the Daniels’ payment allegations. Trump ridiculed the investigation in a March 9 Truth Social post.
“I did absolutely nothing wrong, I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, nor would I have wanted to have an affair with Stormy Daniels,” the 45th president said.
“This is a political Witch-Hunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party,” he added.
Tacopina echoed Trump’s allegations on his MSNBC appearance. “If they’re pursuing this matter, it’s weaponizing the justice system to keep this guy out of office. Donald Trump is going to win the election and if they bring this case, I believe this will catapult him into the White House,” Trump’s lawyer explained.
The full interview can be seen below:
Trump’s lawyer responds to NYC charges, things get heated. pic.twitter.com/CluOIzAeVb
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) March 15, 2023