MSNBC chief legal correspondent and host of “The Beat,” Ari Melber, wondered whether there is a “joint defense agreement” between the Russian government and President Donald Trump.
Joint defense agreements are a legal doctrine allowing parties with shared interests to cooperate in a common litigation strategy.
Melber noted the bombshell report that the Trump Organization planned to offer Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in the planned Trump Tower Moscow project.
“Are we seeing what amounts to Donald Trump and Russia having a joint defense agreement of sorts?” Melber wondered.
“The two sides communicated, coordinated, and used the same false cover story at key moments,” he noted.
“The court documents say [Michael] Cohen sought contact with Russian official one — Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, and he has been his right-hand man for years,” he noted.
“The two sides have been on the same page, apparently from the beginning,” Melber explained. “Look at how Trump and Peskov echo eachother in separate media events — these were held hours apart after some news broke about the Russia dossier.”
Melber than used a split screen to show the common — incorrect — talking points echoed by Trump and Peskov.
To discuss, Melber interviewed Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Previously served as Attorney General of Connecticut for 20 years and was a federal prosecutor.
“Senator, do you see in the reporting the outlines of a joint defense agreement between key Trump associates and Russia?” Melber asked. “And is that wrong?”
“It certainly has all of the appearances of what legally would be a joint defense agreement, whether it is explicit, whether it is simply the result of a kind of common understanding,” Blumenthal replied.
“Remember, Donald Trump lied to the American people — that’s the import of the Cohen guilty plea today,” Blumenthal continued. “He lied to the American people with the complicity of the Russians.”