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Former Trump Lawyer Debunks Trump's Claim Biden Was Behind His Prosecution

Former Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina went on MSNBC to slam the Trump talking point that Joe Biden is behind Trump's election interference case.

Screenshot of Joe Tacopina; Donald Trump
MSNBC; Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump's former attorney Joe Tacopina slammed the ex-president during an appearance on MSNBC, pointing out just how ridiculous Trump's talking point that President Joe Biden is behind his prosecution in his recent election interference trial.

Trump has pushed this narrative in the days since becoming the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes. A New York jury last week found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to illegally influence the 2016 election. His sentencing is set for July 11.

Since Trump's guilty verdict, several top Republicans, most notably South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, have also suggested Biden played a role in the prosecution. Scott at one point said he "can't believe the hoax, the sham, this absolute injustice justice system...weaponizing the justice system of the United States of America against a political opponent."

Tacopina seized on these remarks to poke holes in the latest lie from Trump and his surrogates:

"Tim Scott is someone who I used to respect, but I lost a lot of respect from what I just heard because he sounded so uneducated, unintelligent and made no sense at all. I understand there is a political motivation to a lot of what's going on in our country today."
"Everyone wants to paint a broad brush, [that] this is a political vendetta and weaponization of the justice system."
This is a state case, this is different than the Jack Smith cases, this is not a federal prosecution. Joe Biden or anyone from his Justice Department have actually zero to do with the Manhattan district attorney's office. They have no jurisdiction over there, they have no contacts with them, they have no control certainly over him."
"So to say that Joe Biden brought this case is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. We know that's not the case, and even Trump's lawyers know that is not the case."

He concluded:

"The federal government has no input. This is a state prosecution."

You can hear what Tacopina said in the video below.

Many appreciated Tacopina's remarks and joined him in criticizing Trump and his supporters.

Tacopina is of course correct in pointing out that the federal government has nothing to do with state charges. In fact, the conflation between the two has fueled further misinformation from Trump and his fellow Republicans about his pardoning power in the event he wins re-election in November.

According to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, a president has pardoning power except in cases involving impeachment. This means the president is able to pardon anyone convicted of a federal crime in a U.S. District Court, the Superior Court of D.C. or a military court martial.

However, that power does not apply to state crimes, which means Trump's conviction would not be eligible for a pardon. The only way Trump could be pardoned would be in the unlikely event that Kathy Hochul, New York's Democratic Governor, takes that step.