After an animated interview with Donald Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, a biographer, who wrote Trump Nation, warned that the lawyer and his client don't know what witnesses have said and revealed to the grand jury.
MSNBC's Joy Reid, began the episode with a clip of Tacopina telling George Stephanopoulos that it was all about keeping something out of the news that would embarrass his family.
"That's not a campaign finance violation. Not by any stretch," said Tacopina.
Yet, when Tacopina spoke to Ari Melber on Tuesday, he equated the hush money payments to Daniels as nothing more than a loan to Trump's campaign.
"Well, here's the thing," began Tim O'Brien, "whatever motivated him, whether he was worried about the wrath of Melania or worried about blowing up his presidential campaign, they still falsified business records. His motivation around that, to a certain extent, why he falsified the business records is irrelevant if he did it. His motivation could come from anywhere. I think clearly what they're trying to do is uncouple it from the campaign finance violation, so the severity of the charges gets lessened. But here's the thing, I don't think he was just — even if it was solely about Melania, and I do think he probably was worried about Melania, but I don't think he was worried about her finding out. He was worried possibly about her dissolving the marriage and coming at him with a divorce settlement. He wasn't worried about emotions, about pledges he made to his life. He was worried about the financial consequences of it."
His second point is that, like in the Georgia case, there's a tape, thanks to former lawyer Michael Cohen.
"I believe they were having about the Karen McDougal cover-up, a second cover-up of yet another affair in which he has Trump recorded saying have Allen take care of it,'" O'Brien continued. "I believe that's a reference to Allen Weisselberg, his CFO that tape demonstrates what I think is the core issue in all of these cases, that Donald Trump was an architect of malfeasance. He wasn't an innocent bystander. He was directing the people around him to do what he wanted them to do, in some cases, to break the law. I think here it certainly appears he did."
Reid called in former prosecutor turned law school professor Barbara McQuade. She showed the clip of Tacopina speaking to Melber, asking what was illegal about what Trump did, and McQuade had an answer.
"Well, what makes it illegal is if they are saying it's for one purpose when in fact, it's for another purpose," she explained. "That's the falsification of business records. It appears the theory in this case that they made it look as if these payments to Michael Cohen were for the purpose of legal fees. In fact, they paid him out over a series of months to make it look like it was legal fees when in fact, they were concealing this payment made to Stormy Daniels. Michael Cohen himself fronted the money and was repaid by Trump in these monthly payments as fees. So that, on its face, I think is a crime."
She went on to explain that it's a defense attorney's trick to take a small piece of evidence and take twist it out of context.
"And what a prosecutor will do is piece together a lot of different elements, so this recording, along with witness testimony and documents to paint a picture about what was really going on here and if they're prepared to indict him," McQuade said. "I think that means Alvin Bragg's prosecutors believe they can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt."
Reid asked about Trump's excuse and said that she thought they were talking about McDougal in that instance and the conspiracy with the National Enquirer.
O'Brien said that Trump had established a relationship with the tabloid to catch and kill any allegations from McDougal to keep her quiet.
"All of these individuals I presume have now testified at length to Alvin Bragg's prosecutor," O'Brien closed. "And Trump and his lawyers don't know what they've said."
See the full conversation below or at the link here.
'Trump and his lawyers don’t know what they’ve said': Biographer www.youtube.com