Former President Donald Trump didn't make up his claims last week that an arrest was pending, but he was reacting to "a lot of leaks" coming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, his attorney Joe Tacopina insisted Sunday.
"There had been a leak that Monday, the day before that Tuesday, there was a law enforcement meeting, including Secret Service and NYPD, that was going to go through the logistics of the arraignment," Tacopina told NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd. "And then there were a lot of rumors regarding the arraignment being the next day, so I think he just assumed, based on those leaks that that's what was going to happen…so it wasn't about making it up, and certainly he doesn't want to be arrested."
Bragg's office is investigating Trump for felony falsification of business records over hush money his former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels after she claimed to have an affair with Trump, which the former president denies.
Tacopina also argued Sunday that the investigation against Trump is politically motivated, as nobody else would be "prosecuted for making a civil settlement in a hush-money case with personal funds? Of course not. No one's ever been prosecuted for that."
That means whether a person supports Trump or not, "we should all be concerned as citizens in this country about the weaponization of a prosecutor's office, and that is what this is," he said. "I swear to you, in my 32 years as both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, I've never seen an abuse of discretion like this."
Tacopina also on Sunday stepped back from the attacks his client has been making against Bragg through his social media page, including one in which the president is shown wielding a baseball bat next to a picture of the prosecutor's head.
"I'm not his social media consultant," said Tacopina. "I think that was an ill-advised post that one of his social media people put up, and he quickly took down when he realized the rhetoric in the photo that was attached to it."
Tacopina also said he won't defend or condemn anything about Trump's social media, as he's Trump's attorney, not a public relations person.
He also on Sunday insisted that the matter with Cohen, Daniels, and Trump was a "personal civil settlement," not money that was taken from campaign funds.
"This was a personal civil settlement that's done every day in New York City," he said. "This had nothing to do with campaign finance laws. And members of the FEC (Federal Election Commission) have come forth and said this."
Tacopina also accused Todd of "conflating issues" when he argued about how money was paid to Cohen.
"This is a case that is being investigated because allegedly, Donald Trump had an obligation to notify the FEC, okay, the Federal Election Committee," said Tacopina. 'He did not. The FEC has come forth and said that. This has nothing to do with whether he paid it through his organization, through a corporation, or his personal funds. These were personal funds. By all accounts, these were personal funds, not campaign funds. "
But if campaign funds were being used, "we'd be having a different discussion," said Tacopina. "We'd be talking about how he used campaign funds to pay personal expenses, and they'd be begging for an indictment."
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