- Joe Tacopino is Trump’s lawyer for the Manhattan DA’s probe into a hush-money payment made to Stormy Daniels.
- He has previously said on CNN that the exchange poses a “real problem” for Trump.
- In another CNN segment, Tacopino said the payment is “fair game” for scrutiny.
A defense attorney representing Donald Trump for the Manhattan District Attorney’s probe into a hush-money payment made to Stormy Daniels predicted that the exchange could pose a “real problem” for the then-president a few years before a looming indictment came into fruition.
The lawyer, Joe Tacopino, went on CNN multiple times in 2018 as a commentator to discuss the payment and has said that the money could be an issue if it’s tied to Trump’s campaign. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels and his attorneys have said he’s the victim of extortion.
One possible avenue Manhattan prosecutors may take to bring felony charges against the former president is to see if any federal election laws were violated by silencing Daniels through a payment in order to benefit Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“If it leads back to the Trump campaign funding, that’s a big problem,” Tacopino said back on March 18, 2018. “This is a Pandora’s box that’s gonna be opened and unfortunately is not going to have any good results for the president.”
—Acyn (@Acyn) March 22, 2023
Tacopino did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In another CNN segment in 2018, Tacopino said that the payment is subject to scrutiny if the money to Daniels was “made on behalf of the candidate … and it was not declared.”
“That’s fair game, unfortunately, if that’s the case,” he said.
—Acyn (@Acyn) March 21, 2023
According to a CNN report, Tacopino has also said that the payment “could be looked as an in-kind contribution at the time of the election.”
“This is a real problem,” Tacopino said, according to the report.
Tacopino’s 2018 comments are a far cry from his more recent statements as a possible indictment hangs over Trump’s head.
“We are distorting laws to try and bag President Trump … I don’t know what it is, but this prosecutor and this prosecutor’s office has made an agenda,” Tacopino said on “ABC’s Good Morning America” earlier this month.