Former President Donald Trump’s legal team will look to challenge “every potential issue” in his indictment once the charges are unsealed, an attorney for the former president told CNN Sunday.
“We’re not doing anything at the arraignment because that would be showmanship and nothing more because we haven’t even seen the indictment yet. We will take the indictment, we will dissect it, the team will look at every – every – potential issue that we will be able to challenge and we will challenge it,” Joe Tacopina told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Tacopina and other Trump lawyers have done several TV interviews in anticipation of the former president’s first appearance in court Tuesday, when he will learn the charges that the Manhattan grand jury has approved against him.
At times, the lawyers have vowed to ask for the charges to be dismissed. But the full slate of charges still aren’t known. And crucially, a judge will ultimately determine if the law is sound enough for the case to move forward to trial.
Former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in an interview with NBC News Sunday, “We can speculate on what evidence we think they may or may not have, but even with the indictment published, we really will not know what the district attorney’s evidence is and what they would present at trial.”
Vance’s team investigated the case but did not charge it, leaving it under the purview of his successor, Alvin Bragg.
What we know so far: Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in the indictment. The investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office began when Trump was still in the White House and relates to a $130,000 payment made by his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels in late October 2016, days before the presidential election, to silence her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair.
The Trump team’s court strategy could center around challenging the case because it may rely on business record entries that prosecutors tie to hush money payments to Daniels seven years ago, beyond the statute of limitations for a criminal case.
Tacopina suggested in TV interviews Sunday that the statute of limitations may be passed, and said the Trump businesses didn’t make false entries.
“They’re not false entries. But assuming they were, they’re misdemeanors way beyond the statute of limitations, so they had to cobble them together to try and get a felony,” he said.
Tacopina on Sunday also said a request to move the case to a different New York City borough isn’t on the table yet for Trump’s legal team.