Zero chance that President Trump would take a plea deal

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Lawyer: Trump Won’t Take Plea Deal,
Won’t Be Handcuffed

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer said there is “zero chance” the 45th president will take a plea deal after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted him, and indicated his team would file motions to dismiss the case, although the indictment has not yet been unsealed.

“President Trump will not take a plea deal on this case. It’s not gonna happen,” Tacopina told NBC News on Friday, adding there is “zero chance” it will happen. “There’s no crime. I don’t know if it’s gonna make it to trial because we have substantial legal challenges.”

Trump is “not going to hole up in Mar-a-Lago,” he said. The indictment targeting Trump has not been unsealed, as typically a court will make it public after a defendant appears in court for their arraignment.

In a separate interview with ABC News, Tacopina said that by Thursday’s development “was a shock” for Trump. “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.”

“This is unprecedented in this country’s history. I don’t know what to expect other than an arraignment,” he remarked. “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.”

Another lawyer representing Trump in a separate case, Jim Trusty, told CNN that he believes the former president’s legal team will attempt to dismiss the charges before it gets to trial. Several legal experts have made similar remarks, arguing that Trump could try to get the case tossed because of the statute of limitations or because Bragg’s case against him is based on a faulty legal theory.

“I would think in very short order, you’ll see a motion to dismiss—or several motions to dismiss,” Trusty told CNN, adding that those filings will likely be submitted within “days.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York City, on March 23, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Some analysts, including George Washington University professor John Banzhaf, have said Trump could argue “selective enforcement” is at play, or when a prosecutor attempts to target someone for certain charges “when they generally choose not to charge other people who committed similar offenses.”

Noting the peculiarities of the case against Trump, Tacopina told ABC News that “there is really no precedent for this case … this was done with personal money.” Reports have indicated that Bragg was investigating Trump for misclassifying alleged hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to adult actress Stormy Daniels to cover up a purported affair, which Trump has denied.

“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,” Tacopina said.

When asked whether he believes Trump will be placed in handcuffs for a “perp walk” or a mugshot, the lawyer said that “they will try to get every ounce of publicity they can out of this thing” but that Trump “will not be put in handcuffs.”

“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,” Tacopina said. “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.”

Although it is not believed Trump will resist arrest, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter that he would not assist in extraditing the former president and linked Bragg to alleged campaign money provided by controversial left-wing billionaire George Soros. Like Trump, DeSantis is reportedly eyeing the White House in 2024, although he has not officially announced his candidacy, and it isn’t clear if he will.

Trump faces additional legal troubles amid a federal investigation into his activity following the 2020 election, a Georgia investigation relating to the 2020 election, and another federal investigation into his handling of government records after he left office. The former president has denied wrongdoing in those three cases, alleging they are part of politically motivated efforts to harm him politically.