Trump was ‘shocked’ by indictment, lawyer says
Trump has become the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges.
(ABC NEWS)—Donald Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said the former president’s initial reaction to his indictment was “shock,” despite predicting his own arrest “based on rumours and leaks.”
“At the end of the day, we were really hoping and he was hoping that the rule of law would’ve prevailed,” he added. “In my opinion — and I don’t say this with pride or pleasure — in my 32 years as a lawyer, both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I feel like the rule of law died yesterday in this country.”
When asked what to expect next week, Tacopina said “it’s a great question.”
“This is unprecedented in this country’s history. I don’t know what to expect other than an arraignment,” he said. “I understand they’re going to be closing off blocks around the courthouse, shutting down the courthouse. You know, we’ll go in there and we’ll proceed to see a judge at some point, plead not guilty, start talking about filing motions, which we will do immediately and very aggressively regarding the legal viability of this case.”
Tacopina noted that “there is really no precedent for this case, [because] this was done with personal money.”
“Statutorily, the law says this: If the payment was made with personal funds and it would’ve been made irrespective of the candidate’s campaign, it’s outside of campaign finance and, clearly, that’s what you have here,” he said.
When asked whether there will be handcuffs, a mugshot or a perp walk, Tacopina responded: “I’m sure they will try to get every ounce of publicity they can out of this thing.”
“The president will not be put in handcuffs,” he added. “As far as a mugshot’s concerned, perp walk, I mean, you know, as I said, I’m sure they’ll try to make sure they get some joy out of this by parading him.”
“But, you know, I think this is a different situation,” he continued. “It is a lot of groups involved here and I don’t think they’re going to allow this to become a circus, as much as humanly possible.”
When asked how concerned he is about this case and the other potential cases Trump could be facing, Tacopina said: “We have to deal with it one at a time.”
“Right now, I’m dealing with this case exclusively and another civil matter for the president, but not the Fulton County case and not the special prosecutor’s case at this point,” he added. “And really, I’m not even thinking about those cases at all. I’m focused — laser focused — on this case and I’ll keep all my attention here until this is resolved.”