April 16, 2024

Former President Trump is not expected to take a plea deal if the case related to an illegal hush money payment in 2016 to adult film star Stormy Daniels goes to trial, his attorney said Friday.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team are leaning on a well-worn playbook for the former president, who is running for office again and has evaded criminal charges for decades.

Trump will “absolutely” voluntarily surrender to Manhattan law enforcement, his attorney Joe Tacopina said Friday on NBC’s “Today” show.

  • The former president is “not going to hole up in Mar-a-Lago,” Tacopina added.
  • Trump won’t take a plea deal because “there’s no crime,” Tacopina said.
  • He “initially was shocked” when he learned of the New York grand jury’s indictment, Tacopina added.
  • “After he got over that, he put a notch on his belt and he decided we have to fight now,” he said.

Trump’s attorney in another legal inquiry — involving the former president’s handling of classified documents — predicted Friday that the Trump team will file a motion to dismiss the New York charges.

  • “I would think in very short order, you’ll see a motion to dismiss, or several motions to dismiss,” James Trusty said on CNN.
  • “I think this will be something you can expect in days or weeks, not weeks or months,” he added.

The big picture: Trump, who has said that he would stay in the 2024 contest even if he was indicted, often casts himself as the victim of overzealous investigators.

  • Trump said Thursday that the indictment was an act of “Political Persecution” and accused Democrats of “weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President.”
  • The former president is the subject of at least four known criminal investigations, including probes into his efforts to subvert 2020 election results, handling of presidential records and business fraud.

What to watch: Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the Manhattan courthouse, court spokesperson Lucian Chalfen confirmed.

Go deeper… Congress enters “dangerous” territory as Trump indicted

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.