Following former President Donald Trump's indictment by a Manhattan grand jury over hush payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, his attorney Joe Tacopina made the rounds on TV news and compared the situation to one you would see in fascist regimes — a comment echoing Donald Trump Jr., who last night compared Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.
"We shouldn't pick the person and try to find the crime," said Tacopina on CBS Mornings. "If you read the prosecutor's book, what he said was, they had Donald Trump, they despised and loathed him. He was looking for a crime to fit the person. That's Nazi Germany, that's Communist China. We don't do that in this country."
But if anything, argued former federal prosecutor John Flannery on MSNBC's "The Beat" Friday, it's Tacopina and fellow Trump defenders who are behaving like fascists.
"We don't assume anyone's guilt, but it's not exactly a thunderbolt out of the blue that the Manhattan D.A., after going through this, when the lawyer was convicted, when the CFO was convicted, suddenly it got here," said anchor Ari Melber. "I want to err with a warning, a comparison that is in many ways controversial. The Trump lawyers are out and they are comparing this indictment to what the Nazis did." He played the clip of Tacopina.
"You know, I think we should flip places on who the fascists are," said Flannery. "The language of that attorney fits more the accusation he is making than that it should stick to anyone else."
Flannery's comments are similar to those of Timothy Snyder, an expert on authoritarian regimes at Yale University, who has sounded the alarm about the current direction of the Republican Party under Trump, particularly Trump's invocations for his supporters to take to the streets in response to the charges against him.
"The charge here involves three components, I think," said Flannery. "One is, I can grab, so this is the sexual part of it. Two, fraud, natural for Trump. And I say that because usually when we have a public figure like this, they spend all their time telling us what they didn't do and why they didn't do it. Instead, he accuses the government of making things up, when we see so much of it publically we know it wasn't made up and that it's true. And the third part, of course, is that he combines the sex and the combines the fraud at a time in an election when it's very close with Hillary Clinton, and he's 'anybody can grab the whatever', and he's doing this. No one can tell me this was a light element in his strategy to win that election using the electoral votes."
Watch the segment below or at this link.
John Flannery calls Trump's lawyers fascistic www.youtube.com