Trump's Lawyer Admits Indictment Becoming 'More Probable'

An indictment against Donald Trump, over claims he paid off a pornographic actor ahead of the 2016 presidential election, is "becoming more probable," according to an attorney for the former president.

Trump has been accused of sending Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money ahead of the election, to prevent her going public with the claim she'd slept with him in Nevada during 2006, just one year after his marriage to Melania Trump. While Trump denies having any sexual relations with Daniels, his longstanding fixer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000, which Trump later reimbursed, towards the end of the 2016 campaign.

Trump is currently facing a number of investigations, potentially complicating his bid to return to the White House in 2025. These include a criminal inquiry into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia, along with investigations into his handling of classified documents and the events surrounding the storming of Congress by Trump supporters in January 2021.

Last week the New York Times reported Trump had been invited to appear before a grand jury over the Daniels case, by the Manhattan district attorney's office, with such an offer "almost always" indicating an indictment is near.

Donald Trump speaking in Iowa
Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for an event at the Adler Theatre on March 13, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa. Trump's lawyer has admitted it is "becoming more probable" that the former president will face charges over alleged hush payments to Stormy Daniels. Scott Olson/GETTY

On Tuesday, Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina appeared on NewsNation, to discuss the allegations against his employer with host Dan Abrams.

Asked whether he expects "an indictment," Tacopina replied: "You know it's becoming more probable I think now."

Tacopina added Trump is "absolutely" still denying having sex with Daniels, and said the former president is an "extortion victim whether he did or didn't."

Newsweek has contacted Donald Trump for comment via his official website.

When Abrams suggested "all the evidence" points to Trump having had sex with Daniels, as otherwise you don't pay someone $130,000, Tacopina replied you do "when you're about to run for office."

He later insisted the money had also been paid to prevent "embarrassment for the client and his family," adding: "I know many, many wealthy individuals who settle false claims."

Cohen, who worked as Trump's attorney between 2006 and 2018, has been cooperating with the Manhattan district attorney's office investigation.

In December 2018 Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, and fined $50,000, after being found guilty of campaign finance violations and tax evasion. During the trial, prosecutors claimed Cohen had organized hush payments to Daniels at the behest of Trump.

Alan Dershowitz, a top lawyer and former Harvard law professor, argued Attorney General Merrick Garland could face "irresistible" pressure to prosecute Trump in his new book, Get Trump: The Threat to Civil Liberties, Due Process, and our Constitutional Rule of Law.

He wrote: "The 'Get Trump' camp is making it difficult for Merrick Garland to do, and to appear to be doing, justice. These extremists not only don't care about the equal application of the law, but they also demand a double standard against Trump precisely because they believe that Trump is more dangerous and more evil than Hillary Clinton was. (Many anti-Clinton zealots believed the opposite.)

"The pressure on Garland to prosecute Trump, especially from the left of his party, may be irresistible. At the very least, it will subject any prosecutorial decision to the accusation that it was influenced by the 'Get Trump' zealotry."