WATCH: Trump’s OWN Lawyer Panned His Hush Money Payments as ‘Illegal’ and ‘Fraud’ in 2018 CNN Appearance


A recently unearthed 2018 television panel discussion on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon reveals Trump attorney Joseph Tacopina giving a shockingly different point of view from what he has been saying lately.

Tacopina has been doing the media rounds in the past few weeks, defending his client, former President Donald Trump, from allegations of campaign finance fraud that may lead to his arrest. Tacopina has repeatedly blasted Michael Cohen while maintaining the potential arraignment by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is only politically motivated.

“(Manhattan DA) Alvin Bragg once said — I hope he remembers these words — he can’t see a world in which he would base a prosecution of Donald Trump on the word of a convicted puncher and felon like Michael Cohen,” Tacopina said to Erin Burnett last week. “He is still a convicted perjurer, someone convicted of lying, and it’s not about vengeance; it’s all about vengeance for him.”

That starkly contrasts his position in 2018, which was unearthed by self-described “Internet hooligan” ACYN. Tacopina can be seen in a panel discussion with the New York Times’s Frank Bruni and CNN’s Laura Coates, essentially calling the alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and the falsification of records an “illegal agreement.”

The interview took place on March 14th, 2018; a portion of his comments are below:

I mean, you know, once that net is out, once the microscope is on you, everything is fair game. And it’s hard to argue, oh, you can’t look at this or you can’t look at that. So, yes, if there’s an issue with with that payment to Stormy Daniels being that it was made on behalf of the candidate. Okay. And it was not declared. That’s fair game. Unfortunately, if that’s the case. And you know, quite frankly, you know, Michael Cohen, again has made statements that would give rise to suspicion. For any prosecutor to say that doesn’t make sense, that a lawyer took out a home equity loan with his own money, paid somebody that he didn’t even know on behalf of a client who, by the way, had the wherewithal and the money to afford $130,000. And, by the way, didn’t tell the client about the settlement agreement. It’s an illegal agreement. It’s a fraud, if that’s, in fact, the case.

Later in the interview, he added, “it doesn’t pass the straight-face test, and quite frankly, if that is what happened, we have a potential campaign finance issue.”

News broke last week that Tacopina may have a conflict of issue, having reportedly advised Daniels before signing up as Trump’s defense attorney.

Watch above via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Colby Hall is the Founding Editor of He is also a Peabody Award-winning television producer of non-fiction narrative programming as well as a terrific dancer and preparer of grilled meats.