"He's entitled to his own opinion": Trump's own lawyer undermines his attack on judge

"Of course not," Joe Tacopina says after Trump claimed judge overseeing Manhattan case "hates" him

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published April 3, 2023 1:44PM (EDT)

Joe Tacopina (Mario Carlini - Iguana Press/Getty Images)
Joe Tacopina (Mario Carlini - Iguana Press/Getty Images)

Trump attorney Joe Tacopina rejected the former president's claim that the judge presiding over Trump's arraignment is biased against him. 

Trump on Friday went on a Truth Social rant attacking New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.

"The Judge 'assigned' to my Witch Hunt Case, a 'Case' that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME," Trump wrote. "His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who 'railroaded' my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a 'plea' deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn't 'plead,' VICIOUSLY."

Tacopina, who is representing Trump in the case, rejected the claim in an interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos.

"Do I think the judge is biased? Of course not," Tacopina said. "How could I subscribe to that when I've had no interactions with the judge that would lead me to believe he's biased?" he added.

Stephanopoulos pressed Tacopina to explain Trump's claim.

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"You're interviewing me, George, right?" he said. "I'm his attorney, but I'm myself. I'm not his PR person. I'm not a spokesperson. He's entitled to his own opinion and, what he's been through, quite frankly, I don't blame him for feeling the way he feels."

Trump's indictment, along with the specific charges brought against him, remains sealed. The ex-president is expected to stand before Merchan in an arraignment on Tuesday. Trump is expected to fly to Manhattan on Monday night before returning to Mar-a-Lago after his court appearance to speak publicly.

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Clip Donald Trump Joe Tacopina Juan Merchan Politics Stormy Daniels