Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman had some harsh words for Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, during a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC.
In an interview with Ari Melber on Tuesday, Tacopina sparred with the MSNBC host over the specifics of the former president's case before a Manhattan grand jury that could indict him for the hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal.
Melber categorized it as "as close to 'you can't handle the truth' as you can come," quoting the famous scene from the movie “A Few Good Men."
Speaking about the interview on Melber's Wednesday show, Akerman said that this is something that defense lawyers do all the time to distract from the case.
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"This happens all the time. Mr. Cohen is basically what's known as an accomplice witness, which means he was an accomplice to the defendant who committed the crime," Akerman explained. "I have used accomplice witnesses as a prosecutor numerous times. I had one guy who, within five minutes of his direct testimony, I had him admit to 12 murders that he personally committed and yet I convicted everybody with this guy."
Melber explained that Akerman got the jury to see that the accomplice witness was bad, but what he was saying was true.
"I asked the jury to look at the other evidence, the other witnesses who testified. Listen to the tapes. "Look at the documents that support what I'm saying."
Melber went on to cite the comments from Tacopina in which he claimed that Mark Pomerantz would be prosecuted for violating grand jury secrecy laws.
"He offered no evidence for that. Legally that's a huge claim he's making. The final question to you, Nick, is when you look at that history, including some at least questionable choices if not worse by that former prosecutor, what do you say to the Trump defense that it tanks the whole case?" asked Melber.
Akerman called it absolutely meaningless.
"It absolutely has nothing to do with guilt or innocence," said Akerman. "It has nothing to do with whether Donald Trump committed a crime. It's a total sideshow. It is a technique that is used by the defense lawyers all the time to try and tar and blame the prosecution in some way. I had to testify so many times to various claims of prosecutorial misconduct. It's a technique and something that people use in order to try to help their clients. But it has nothing, zero, to do with guilt or innocence. And the judges look at it that way."
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Watergate prosecutor schools Trump’s lawyer as a sideshow' — and 'judges look at it that way www.youtube.com