Trump "upset" and "angry" but "not worried" about indictment, attorney says
Former President Donald Trump is “upset” and “angry” by news of his indictment, but “not worried at all,” his attorney, Joe Tacopina, told “CBS Mornings” on Friday.
A New York grand jury investigating the circumstances surrounding a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, has voted to indict Trump, making him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges. The charge or charges have not yet been unsealed.
“Oh, he’s not worried at all,” Tacopina told “CBS Mornings.” “I mean, he’s upset, angry. He is being persecuted politically. That is clear to many people — not only on the right but on the left — and we, as Americans, honestly should be concerned. Today it’s Donald Trump, tomorrow, it’s gonna be a Democrat. The day after that it could be your brother, or your son, your daughter.”
“And we have to be concerned about the rule of law falling,” he continued, “because what’s happened here is this is a case that would not have been brought against another individual in this country if his name wasn’t Donald Trump, pursued by a prosecutor who has obviously very diverse political views from the president. So, it’s a very troubling case because there’s no crime here.”
Tacopina told “CBS Mornings” the president found out about the indictment around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. He told NBC News’ “Today” show Friday that Trump was “shocked” when he heard the news of his indictment.
“Despite all the scuttlebutt and rumors and what not, we believed and hoped that rule of law would have prevailed,” Tacopina told “Today.” “So he initially was, was shocked. After he got over that, you know, he put a notch on his belt and he decided we have to fight now.”
Tacopina also said Trump is “ready to fight this.”
The Trump lawyer told CBS News early Friday morning that the former president’s legal team expects him to surrender to authorities “likely Tuesday,” following discussions with the Manhattan district attorney’s office late into Thursday. Those discussions continue.
Two law enforcement sources told CBS News Friday evening that Trump is likely to fly into LaGuardia Airport, which is located in Queens, in a private plane.
Later, Tacopina told CBS News’ Robert Costa that his understanding is that Secret Service protocol will lead to the former president not being put in handcuffs when he surrenders. But he adds that it is a Secret Service matter and not a Trump legal team issue, and that discussions continue with the DA office on other fronts about Trump’s surrender next week.
Tacopina said Trump’s lawyers haven’t seen the sealed indictment and don’t know what it contains.
“People are reporting how many counts are in it and what not. It’s all, you know, news to us,” Tacopina told “CBS Mornings.” “I mean, we’ve unfortunately gotten a lot of our information in this saga through media reports. We’ve not seen it. When it’s unsealed, we will take a look at it.”
— Robert Costa contributed to this report