US

Donald Trump’s lawyer has said the former president’s “knees don’t buckle” and there is “zero” chance he will take a plea deal in the face of criminal charges.

In an interview with Sky News’ US partner NBC News, Joe Tacopina said his client is “ready to fight” and was not going to “hole up” in his exclusive Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida.

He was speaking as Trump faces a mug shot, finger-printing and a court appearance after being indicted over an alleged hush money payment to an adult film actress.

Live updates: Prosecutors launch criminal case against Trump

A grand jury in New York voted to summon him over possible offences related to a $130,000 (£105,000) payment to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

It was allegedly made in exchange for Daniels’ silence about an alleged sexual encounter she said she had with Trump a decade earlier.

He is the first former US president to face criminal charges in court, even as he makes a bid to retake the White House in 2024.

Read more:
What’s next in the legal process?
The key figures

Pressed over whether the ex-president would take a plea deal, Mr Tacopina said: “Zero, zero. First of all, I’m not taking a plea deal to anything.

“But President Trump will not take a plea deal in this case. It’s not going to happen. There’s no crime.”

He added: “His knees don’t buckle. So I think he’s now in the posture that he’s ready to fight this.”

Mr Tacopina said he did not “specifically” know about the nature of the charges against Trump but added the indictment “centres around a legal, very common confidentiality agreement that was signed years ago”.

“It’s nothing more than that which is really what makes this shocking,” he added.

He argued the decision to indict Trump will have “wide-reaching ramifications” and one that “endangers the rule of law for all Americans”.

“Today It’s Donald Trump, tomorrow it’s a Democrat, the day after it’s your friend, the day after that it’s you or me,” he told NBC.

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