Donald Trump’s luck might have finally run out in New York, as prosecutors are ready to take on the former president for his hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Donald Trump’s luck might have finally run out in New York as prosecutors are ready to take on the former president for his hush money payment to adult star Stormy Daniels. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about it. Wow, what a case. You know, as I look at this, I love, I love to see all the law professors line up on a case like this. And if you read the law professor’s take on it, the case may be DOA. I mean, they say that because, yeah, he can win. The prosecutor can win in New York. I mean, he, you’re gonna have a blue juror. You know, you’re gonna have blue judges. He can win there. But the appellate issue is really sticky here, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It truly is because, you know, they have these interlocutory appeals, which basically means before you even get a judgment in that jury trial, assuming you even go that far, the defense can appeal this, and they can basically pick it apart. Say, we’re gonna appeal this part, we’re gonna appeal the statute of limitations. We’re gonna appeal on this piece of evidence. We’re gonna appeal this. They can tie it up possibly for years.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, they can, they can.

Farron Cousins: With these appeals.

Mike Papantonio: Well, okay. So first of all, you move to dismiss. I think, let me make a prediction. The move to dismiss is gonna be somehow centered on a constitutional question. The constitutional question is, can a state prosecutor go ahead and piggyback a federal claim with the state claim? The underlying claim in the state case is the records, the business records fraud. Where fraud, where apparently, if you believe what’s said here, Trump said to his lawyer, Cohen, go ahead and pay off McDougal and pay off Stormy Daniels and then disguise the payoff. Make it look like it was legal services. And then we’re gonna open an account offshore. It’s gonna be an offshore account. You can pay through there and disguise it. If they pin all that, it certainly looks like intent to me. I mean, I think the intent question is pretty straightforward. But I gotta tell you, this case fails.

It fails on a constitutional level, and I think Bragg, maybe he’s just hoping he can take Trump out of the picture. He certainly can. But with interlocutory appeals, with the number of gyrations that defense is gonna be able to do on this case, I think you gotta due process argument here. I mean, that’s a fundamental due process argument. And that is that, you know, you’ve got, you’ve gotta be able to say, first of all, did he know, did Trump know when he was doing this, that it was violating this statute, this new law that has been created by Bragg? You see what I’m saying? He’s creating a new law. And if you look at the best case for him is to say it’s a due process argument. So let’s assume I did that. Let’s assume I told Cohen that he could do that. I didn’t know that there was this thing that was invented by Bragg, and therefore it is a due process argument. There’s so many ways that he can delay this. There’s so many ways that the presidential election can be over by the time this is done. And Bragg could come out looking like a fool. I’m sure he is aware of that. I like that he’s taking a chance. I like that he’s taking a shot at it. Who knows?

Farron Cousins: Well, to me, the whole thing is weird that he chose to revive this whole Stormy Daniel’s issue in the first place. We know from last year when Alvin Bragg took over, he actually squashed the investigation and the pending indictments that Mark Pomerantz and Cyrus Vance had already written for the actual financial crimes, the bank fraud, the tax fraud, all of that. They were ready within days to indict. Bragg came in and said, no, no, no. We’re not gonna do that.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Explain that to me. He saw it. It was ready to go.

Farron Cousins: They had the evidence.

Mike Papantonio: Everything.

Farron Cousins: They had the testimony, it was all nicely compiled. And Pomerantz said, all right, Bragg, you’re in charge now. What do we do?

Mike Papantonio: Why did he not take his shot then?

Farron Cousins: We have not gotten a clear answer on that, unfortunately.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Because to me, that was the slam dunk.

Mike Papantonio: I agree. I totally agree.

Farron Cousins: And those were far, you know, far more serious than what we’re dealing with here. If you take either of the things basically that Trump is accused of here, you know, the I gave more money to a campaign through the in-kind contribution than was allowed. You’re not gonna go to jail for that. The falsification of the business records.

Mike Papantonio: It’s a misdemeanor.

Farron Cousins: Is a misdemeanor. So you’re not going to jail for that. So why did Bragg say, okay, we’ve got these real felony charges here.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: I wanna look at the misdemeanors.

Mike Papantonio: That’s my point. Okay. Let’s assume that he says, yeah, I did it, but I did it thinking I was only, at best, it was gonna be a misdemeanor. Now Bragg comes along, the New York, you know, prosecutor, state prosecutor invents a new law. I didn’t even know about it. It’s a due process argument. Look, hey, let’s do this. Just so all those people who are gonna get angry because we say that he could actually prevail here, let’s say Bragg’s gonna win. Does that make you feel better? It’s just not the truth. It’s not the truth. Bragg can do a lot to Trump here. He can certainly affect the presidential election process with primaries and in the run. But when you drill down on this, Bragg is going to have a lot of explaining to do. A, why didn’t they prosecute the first time when they had him? Statute was good, everything was good. It was all there. And then Bragg has to go back and invent a new law. He has to invent something that’s never been done and he creates a due process argument for Trump. But for all y’all that get angry that we’re trying to talk both sides of this and let you see the other side, we’ll agree, Trump’s gonna be prosecuted. Trump’s gonna be convicted if that’ll make you feel better. But the truth is, at the end of the day, this is a problem.

Farron Cousins: Well, and even if I think, if he does elevate it to a felony, secures the conviction, survives the appeals. I still don’t think he’s going to jail.

Mike Papantonio: No, he’s not.

Farron Cousins: I mean, so that’s, that’s the other part of it.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, you know, look, they wanna take this shot. This is a Soros, this is a Soros appointed prosecutor. Soros was the money behind it, and that’s been Soros’ plan, is to put progressive prosecutors in places that he can use politically. I just think he’s asking Bragg to do a little too much here. He’s really stretching to get Bragg to do what’s doing, what Bragg’s having to do. And I think in the long run, it hurts Bragg.

Farron Cousins: We could have already had a trial had he just gone with the initial charges that they had when he took over that office?

Mike Papantonio: Oh, absolutely.

Farron Cousins: It’d had been, it would’ve been done a year and a half ago.

Mike Papantonio: They had Cohen on the ropes. He was on the ropes. They had Pecker, what’s the guy’s name? Pecker wasn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, David Pecker.

Mike Papantonio: David Pecker with the National Enquirer. They had him on the ropes. They had Weissel, was it Weisselberg?

Farron Cousins: Weisselberg.

Mike Papantonio: They had Weisselberg on the ropes. They had everything lined up. And Bragg comes in and says, no, we’re not gonna prosecute now. I’m gonna go and I’m gonna prosecute later with something that has constitutional flaws all over it. That’s my take on it.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.