Donald Trump Hires Powerhouse Attorney Joe Tacopina ... Plans 'Defamation' Battle Over New Book

Donald Trump just hired one of the country's top trial attorneys, Joe Tacopina, to go after a former Manhattan prosecutor for allegedly defaming him, TMZ has learned.

In his first order of biz as 45's new legal eagle, Tacopina fired off a letter Monday to lawyer Mark Pomerantz, claiming Pomerantz falsely stated Trump was "guilty of numerous felony violations" and that it was a "grave failure of justice not to hold [Trump] accountable by way of criminal prosecution."

Pomerantz's statements appeared in his 2022 resignation letter to Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, which Tacopina says was later leaked to the New York Times.

In his letter, Tacopina's particularly incensed Pomerantz is about to publish a book, "The People vs. Donald Trump," which, Joe believes, will contain even more libelous remarks about DT.

That's why Tacopina's issuing a legal threat to Pomerantz, writing ... "I strongly admonish you to take these next words seriously: If you publish such a book and continue making defamatory statements against my client, my office will aggressively pursue all legal remedies against you and your book publisher, Simon & Schuster."

Tacopina added, "Trust me, I will zealously use every possible legal resource to punish you and your publisher for the incredible financial harm that you have caused my clients to suffer."

As we reported, the Manhattan D.A. has conducted an ongoing 2-year probe into the Trump Organization's business practices.

Pomerantz was one of the senior prosecutors on the case before he resigned, allegedly after Bragg wouldn't let him pursue a criminal indictment against Trump.

So far, Bragg's investigation has led to the recent conviction of Allen Weisselberg, former CFO of the Trump Organization who pled guilty and was sentenced to 5 months behind bars for various financial crimes.

Bragg has expressed concern Pomerantz's upcoming book could derail his investigation into the 45th president, who announced his 2024 run for the White House in November. Tacopina says in the letter Trump is leading all potential candidates in the most recent polls.

We've reached out to Pomerantz for comment ... so far no word back.

President Biden More Classified Docs Found ... DOJ Investigating Matter

President Joe Biden was storing even more classified documents at his home than previously thought -- this according to his lawyer.

The most recent discovery was made on Thursday, but just got disclosed Saturday by White House attorney Richard Sauber ... who said he found an extra five pages while he was in the middle of handing over a previously announced classified doc to DOJ officials.

This marks the fourth such find of classified docs that Biden had been holding onto from his Obama days. First, classified docs were found at his personal office in D.C. in November ... then, additional docs were found in his garage at his Delaware home in December -- and finally, one final classified doc was unearthed in a separate room at his house recently, which just came to light the other day. Now, we get these separate five docs to top it off.

In light of this latest batch being divulged ... the situation is starting to become a bit of a scandal ... as the DOJ has appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter.

The White House, for its part, has been a little cagey in addressing it ... but has said the docs were misplaced by accident, and that Joe meant no harm in stashing them.

He's addressed some of the documents found, but not all. His administration is also facing scrutiny for not letting everyone know about this when they were first discovered (pre-midterm elections) ... but his lawyers have defended the decision -- saying they were trying to strike a balance between being transparent and maintaining the integrity of the DOJ probe, which had already been looking into this before a special counsel was tapped this week.

Unclear what's in the docs ... and reps for the Prez have even said Joe himself is unaware of what they contain or how they even ended up at places they shouldn't have been.

Because they're classified, DOJ and National Archives officials have been called in to retrieve each new cache that's been found ... so it seems protocol's been followed in that regard.

Of course, this news is stirring up outrage among Republicans -- who see similarities between Biden's apparent mishandling of classified docs and Donald Trump's -- who's also been accused of hoarding tons of materials he should've left in D.C.

Some say there's a key difference -- one seems to be deliberate, while the other seems to be a goof. But as more Biden docs are found ... that argument is starting to wane a bit.

President Biden Plays Coy About Reelection Amid Report He'll Run Again in 2024

President Biden might be feeling joke-y about a would-be reelection campaign -- but that's only because the decision has reportedly been made ... apparently, he's running again.

JB was down in the U.S. Virgin Islands Friday ahead of the new year, and when a crush of reporters peppered him with questions about officially throwing his hat in the ring for 2024 -- something he's said he intends to do, but noting he still needed to talk it over with family.

ME? RUN FOR PREZ??
CNN

Those talks were supposed to happen around this time of the year, which is why his response down St. Croix is interesting ... Joe sure seems to be in good spirits about the prospect of gunning for POTUS again, so much so that he's oozing with sarcasm.

Check it out ... the Prez says he wasn't aware there's an election coming up, obviously kidding. His grin is pretty telling though -- because it's backed by what CNN's Kevin Liptak says is a firm yes from Joe's camp. Namely, Joe Biden is, in fact, going to enter the race.

We haven't seen any confirming reports mirroring what Liptak's saying here -- but if true, it's obviously huge. There's been rumblings within the Democratic Party that top dogs want Joe to bow out and let someone younger take a crack at a presidential campaign against Trump.

Joe's first two years in office have been somewhat of a mixed bag (some good and bad) but if he is actually joining the fray again, that means he's confident he's got a shot.

LAMAR OPENS UP

DT vs JB 2.0??? Time will tell!!!

D.L. Hughley Trump Should Be Charged With Manslaughter ... For Deadly Capitol Insurrection

HE'S A CRIMINAL
TMZ.com

D.L. Hughley says Donald Trump should be criminally charged over the Jan. 6 riots ... and he wants the former president charged with the death of a Capitol Police officer.

We got the comedian at LAX and he told our photog ... Trump would be staring at a slew of charges if he were Black ... including manslaughter.

The way D.L. sees it ... Trump should be held responsible for the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after being viciously attacked by the mob during the insurrection.

Trump has yet to be charged by the Justice Department. The Jan. 6 Committee voted to refer Trump for possible criminal charges ... so potential charges are on the table.

As we reported, the Jan. 6 panel feels four charges are warranted for Trump ... obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to make a false statement, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and insurrection.

While D.L. admits Monday's announcement won't do much to convince people Trump's guilty -- he says everyone has already made up their minds -- he tells why he thinks Donald is a criminal.

Joe Exotic Brittney Griner's Free ... So Let Me Out, Too, Mr. President!!!

Joe Exotic feels he ought to be next in line after President Biden struck a deal with Russia to free WNBA star Brittney Griner, and he's stating his case for freedom ... from behind bars.

In audio obtained by TMZ ... The "Tiger King" star says, "The whole Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed prisoner swap is a slap in every American's face that is wrongfully detained in the American Federal Prison System, including myself."

SLAP IN THE FACE
TMZ.com

He goes on to plead his case to the Prez, saying he's innocent of any crimes and calling out his ex-costar Carole Baskin in the process.

Quite frankly, Joe's drawing a ridiculous parallel here, between Brittney and himself. While she was imprisoned as Vladimir Putin's political pawn, Joe was tried and convicted for hiring a hitman, and various crimes tied to the treatment of animals at his infamous wildlife park.

face-to-face
TASS

After she spent nearly 10 months incarcerated, U.S. officials finally struck a deal this week -- Russia agreed to free Brittney in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout ... AKA the "Merchant of Death."

You'll recall, BG was accused of bringing hashish oil in her luggage to a Moscow airport, back in February, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Joe is serving a 21-year sentence, but insists he's innocent -- jury be damned -- and totally deserving of freedom ... something he's been pushing for since Donald Trump was in the White House.

He says, "a dangerous man was released for Brittney Griner to be free. It's time Joe Exotic gets to go home for Christmas to be home with [boyfriend] Seth and his son for the first time in 5 Christmases."

Elon Musk Set to Drop New Batch of #TwitterFiles ... On Hunter Biden Laptop

Elon Musk is doing a new file dump that he says reflects Twitter's alleged efforts to suppress stories about Hunter Biden's laptop in 2020 ... causing a lot of outrage in right wing circles.

The Twit in Chief is set to follow up with another day of #TwitterFiles Saturday, which took the bird app by storm over the past 24 hours ... this after the initial batch detailed alleged correspondence between former Twitter staffers and execs, suggesting they were censoring negative HB news.

Specifically, the internal emails cited by journo Matt Taibbi show how Twitter's ex-head honchos apparently went out of their way to hide links to a story by the New York Post.

Published about a month before the election, it was touted as a bombshell report -- which purported to describe messages the NYP says it retrieved from Hunter's forsaken laptop ... and one of those seems to indicate Ukrainian gas bigwigs were trying to meet President Biden via his son, who was in business with these folks at the time (around 2015 or so).

When this went live in 2020, any attempts to tweet links to the story were barred en masse on Twitter ... and now, these #TwitterFiles pretty much seem to confirm it was, in fact, a coordinated effort in-house. The more troubling part, though ... some of the emails appear to imply that Twitter was actually in touch with Biden's campaign team ... and conceding to their requests to kill the story, as they claimed the information had been hacked/stolen.

Twitter obliged, citing its terms and conditions to justify the move -- not to mention the fact the info discussed hadn't been independently verified -- but since then ... a majority of the materials on the laptop were authenticated as legit. The laptop was also deemed abandoned property after somebody turned it into a shop in 2019 ... eventually finding its way into the hands of conservative operatives who ran with it and publicized its salacious contents.

In the end, however, the Hunter Biden chatter really amounted to nothing in the big picture.

There's been a lot of handwringing in and around the GOP over this for a full two years -- but now that these apparent revelations are coming to light ... many are calling for congressional hearings and investigations into what they characterize as corruption/election interference. Basically, their argument is ... Twitter blocked something that could've, perhaps, swung the election in Trump's favor -- and they're calling on POTUS to answer for it.

Of course, people on the other side are calling this a big nothingburger -- but time will tell if anything comes of it. Meanwhile, Elon's just wielding his big free speech stick.

Elon Musk 'I'm Supporting Ron DeSantis For Prez In 2024...' Donald Who?

Ron DeSantis just got a major endorsement from the world's richest man.

Elon Musk says he's throwing his considerable support behind DeSantis if the Florida governor decides to run for President in 2024. Elon's message was an obvious slap in the face to Donald Trump, who recently announced his candidacy to win back the White House.

Musk started the ball rolling Friday night when he responded to a question from a Twitter user, asking if he would back DeSantis. The new Twitter CEO simply stated, "Yes. But Twitter as a platform must be fair to all.”

Elon later posted another tweet ... “As a reminder, I was a significant supporter of the Obama-Biden presidency and (reluctantly) voted for Biden over Trump. My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I had hoped that would [be] the case for the Biden administration, but have been disappointed so far.”

It's interesting ... Musk claims he's not a conservative ... but he directed his millions of Twitter followers to vote Republican in the last midterm elections. He has also come under attack from Democrats, including President Biden, who has asked the Justice Department to investigate Elon's foreign business practices.

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MUSK'S THE MAN
@FLVoiceNews

Meanwhile ... DeSantis has shown Elon some love, too, publicly praising Musk for giving his Starlink internet satellite technology to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Elon was blasted on social media after he toyed with the idea of stopping the free-of-charge service, which was costing him a fortune.

Looks like Ron and Elon are on the same team...for now.

Bill Maher Holy S**t!!! We're Not as Crazy as We Thought

Bill Maher put a bow on the 20th season of "Real Time" with words of hope ... how 'bout Dem midterms!!!

Bill is blown away by the election ... if you followed him, he thought it would be a deathblow to democracy, but it was the opposite. As he said, Donald Trump may get credit for putting up a slate of whackos who were so scary ... voters opened their eyes and rejected them in force.

Now B.M. isn't suggesting America is out of the woods ... paraphrasing Mark Twain, he said "Reports of our death were slightly exaggerated." Nevertheless, Bill tipped his hat to voters, who helped us revert to some semblance of sanity.

He then leaned into one of his mantras ... reject the extremes on both sides, noting they account for only around 7% of us, yet they get 90% of the media's attention. And how 'bout this -- 90% of all tweets are courtesy of only 10% of users. As he says, if we let them control our country, it's like letting the crying baby fly the plane.

Bill ends with sage advice for both sides ... start compromising, especially on the extremes.  His examples are hilarious.

Come back soon Bill!

D.L. Hughley Trump's Gonna Lose Another Election ... GOP Is Full Of Cowards!!!

BAD MOVE
TMZ.com

D.L. Hughley says Donald Trump is well on his way to losing yet another election, all while destroying the Republican party in the process.

We got the comedian at LAX ... just a couple hours before Trump stepped up to the mics at Mar-a-Lago to announce he will, as anticipated, run for President in 2024.

SEE YOU IN 2024
Fox News

While Trump's West Palm Beach home was surrounded by passionate supporters waiting to hear him launch his campaign ... D.L. was thanking them for backing the former prez, because he thinks Trump is leading the GOP down a road to destruction.

D.L. clowned Trump for seeing almost all of his hand-picked candidates go down in flames in the midterms, and for losing the popular vote in the last 2 general elections. Republicans would call that 2nd part a petty point -- the fact is, we still select presidents using the electoral college.

That aside, he says the GOP is insane to think Trump can win the White House again -- and he does believe Trump will bully the party into giving him the nomination.

If, for some reason, they backed someone else, like Ron DeSantis, D.L. thinks Trump would take the whole party down with him. Think Jan. 6th, but just for the GOP this time.

He did say there is one way Trump could be removed from the race -- but he thinks it's highly unlikely to happen.

As for this being a "last gasp" for Trump's political career, as D.L. sees it -- buckle up for the next 2 years! Whether you're Democrat, Republican, Trump lover or Trump hater ... it's gonna get interesting.

Jon Voight Still Riding on the Trump Train ... After Midterm Elections

deliverance from evil ...

Donald Trump is becoming public enemy #1 in the Republican Party after being blamed for the midterm election results -- but Jon Voight's sticking by him ... for whatever that's worth.

The actor posted a new video Sunday addressed to the American people ... and it's pretty ominous. He decries the wins Democrats secured and suggests there's malfeasance afoot -- echoing false election denial claims propagated by the ex-Prez and his staunch supporters.

JV is one of those diehards, it seems, because he says DT is the only one who can restore truth and justice in this country again ... and he says that'll happen when he's back in office.

FWIW, Trump hasn't officially announced he's running for President again in 2024 -- but has stopped short of saying it for well over a year now. He's also got some big announcement on Tuesday ... which may, in fact, be him throwing his hat in the ring once more.

It's a little weird to see just how down the rabbit hole Jon finds himself -- he talks about a looming third world war, linking it to our domestic politics. His whole speech here is strange.

Regardless of what Trump and his holdout cronies might say ... the voters are making their voices heard at the ballot box. Thus far, Dems will retain control of the Senate -- and even though the House might go to Republicans, it'll probably be a slim majority.

Some are saying it's the end of the Trump era, but Jon's got his ears covered on that one.

Bill Maher Trolls Trump with Burning Question ... Who are You F***ing, Or Are you Impotent?

Bill Maher went after Donald Trump in the most personal way Friday night, but this was way more political than it is salacious. We will explain.

Bill mused, with the hundreds of books that have been written about Trump, no one has cracked the mystery ... who is he banging? As he says, Trump's been a dog all of his adult life, talking about how powerful people could simply grab a woman by the p***y and have his way. Bill's convinced Trump hasn't changed his ways, yet no one has addressed it.

Bill quickly rules out Melania, so then who?

Now here's the deal. The "Real Time" host is really not that interested in D.T.'s love life, and here's how we know. Toward the end, Maher suggests another theory ... Trump has the desire but not the ability, because he's impotent.

Now on the surface this may sound like high school humor, but that misses the point ... Bill knows Trump is as braggadocious as they come -- no pun intended -- and he will find it irresistible to defend his "manhood."

When you think about it, exactly how does Trump answer? Bill has put Trump in a box.  Again ...

Maher ends with the obligatory dick joke.

Tiffany Trump Here Comes the Bride ... I've Got My Marriage License!!!

Tiffany Trump just checked a major box before tying the knot this weekend, and giving her family something to celebrate ... after a tough round of election losses.

Palm Beach County records indicate Tiffany and her soon-to-be-husband, Michael Boulos, were issued a marriage license Tuesday, Election Day ... and just a few days prior to their wedding this Saturday at Mar-a-Lago.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

The license is valid for 60 days and they have to turn it back into the recorder's office before it expires to make their union all official and such. At this point, it seems everything is moving along right on schedule.

Tiffany's been with Michael since 2018, and they got engaged last winter. She just held her bridal shower this past weekend with her sister, mother and other friends in tow.

This wedding is probably a pick-me-up for her dad, Donald. Many of the candidates he backed for the midterms lost, and Republicans overall didn't fare as well as they'd hoped.

Now, the Trumps might not be out of the storm just yet -- there's literally one making its way to their shores right now. Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to make landfall Wednesday night. We'll see if that upends any of TT's wedding day plans.

Pras Trump, Obama on Witness Wish List In Financial Conspiracy Case

Fugees rapper Pras is getting ready to defend himself against allegations he was part of an international finance conspiracy ... and he wants to call some familiar names to the witness stand, including a couple of former U.S. presidents.

TMZ Hip Hop obtained the decorated witness list Pras submitted, and it includes Barack Obama and Donald Trump, ex-HUD director Ben Carson, hotel czar Steve Wynn and even former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The New Jersey-bred MC, who sold over 20 million records with Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, is accused of receiving millions of dollars from Malaysian fugitive Jho Low ... who allegedly embezzled those funds from his own country's treasury.

Pras' attorney David Kenner tells us the feds' claim his client used illicit funds to finance the Leonardo DiCaprio film, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is also totally bogus ... and he plans to prove that in court.

Kenner says it was Low, not Pras, who funded the "Wolf Of Wall Street" through negotiations with DiCaprio and others -- and the "Ghetto Supastar" rapper simply helped network some of the interested parties behind the scenes.

Obama and Trump's potential inclusion in the case makes things rather interesting. Pras and Low are accused of illegally funding Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, as well as attempting to get the Trump administration to drop the charges.

They want both former commanders-in-chief to speak to those claims.

According to our sources, Pras's team is also denying the Fugees canceled their tour over the pending case.

Pras says he had even offered to help the authorities reel in Low, who he maintains is the real mastermind of the alleged crimes.

Prosecutors also have big names on their witness list, including DiCaprio and Wynn. The trial is currently scheduled for March 2023.

Bill Maher Republicans Know Herschel Walker is Nuts ... But Here's Why They Support Him

Bill Maher asks the question ... how can Republicans support Herschel Walker, whom he calls a hypocritical, lying moron, who played Russian Roulette, threatened to blow his wife's brains out, stalked a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, threatened to shoot cops, falsely claimed to be a cop, falsely claimed to be an FBI agent, abandoned some of his kids, wants an abortion ban despite paying for a girlfriend's abortion? Well, Bill has an answer.

The "Real Time" host says Democrats are blasting Republicans -- from Senators on down who support Walker -- for lacking fundamental integrity. B.M. says the integrity ship has long since sailed ... he says it sank after a long battle with tribalism.

Bill acknowledges, some of the supporters are indeed those "deplorables" ... but claims it's more complicated than that. Bill says, for these Republicans, "The worse a candidate is, the more it says to Democrats, 'do you see how much we don't like what you're selling?'"

Translation ... a lot of Republicans know these wacko candidates are, as he says, "egregious assholes," but they'll hold their noses and support them to counter and make a statement about their objections to identity politics. Bill ticks off examples ... cancel culture, victimhood, white self-loathing, forcing ideas of race and sex on kids too young to understand, etc.

He acknowledges, Democrats have the same contempt for Republican values, but Dems have a sense of shame that prevents them from supporting crazy candidates, and Republicans have zero shame.

So given the landscape of division in America ... if we want to stay as a country, Bill seems to be asking move for a move to the middle, where we can tolerate each other and, perhaps, make more progress in the long run than if we stay huddled in our tribes.

Ex-DC Cop Michael Fanone I Want Trump to Take Responsibility for Jan. 6!!! And, If He's Elected Again ...

DEMANDING RESPONSIBILITY
TMZ.com

Michael Fanone, the former DC police officer injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection, has been through the wringer since then ... and says if no one's held accountable for the attack, America's headed in a dangerous direction.

Michael joined us on "TMZ Live" to discuss the Jan. 6 Committee's decision Thursday to subpoena Donald Trump -- a move he absolutely applauds, although it doesn't sound like he's holding out a ton of hope Trump will actually be brought to justice.

1/6/21
CAPITOL CLASH
Storyful

We asked Michael -- who was repeatedly beaten with a flagpole, tasered, and dragged down several steps in the chaos that day -- how he'd feel if Trump runs in 2024 and wins.

He didn't hesitate with his response, saying ... "If you're asking me if I'm gonna go to Canada ... f**k no!!!" Instead, Michael said he would try to find some way to coexist in the country with Trump supporters.

Fanone's written a book about his horrific experience that day -- he suffered a heart attack, a concussion that left him with a traumatic brain injury and, of course, suffers with PTSD -- and told us he's spent a great deal of time speaking about his experience to help folks understand the truth about what went down that day.

PUNCHIN' PELOSI

Fanone's memoir, "Hold the Line: The Insurrection and One Cop's Battle for America's Soul" is out now, and that title relates very closely to a new clip of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Michael told us he saw the video of the Speaker of the House saying she wanted to punch Trump, and was even willing to go to jail for it -- and in his eyes, it proves who was truly the Commander-in-Chief on Jan. 6, 2021.

Comic God Alan Moore Our Love of Superheroes Is Opening the Fascist Door!!!

Comic nerds won't like this ... one of the greatest writers to dabble in the caped crusade industry says our fascination with superheroes is teetering on Nazi Germany territory.

Indeed ... we're talking about Alan Moore, who's written some of the most well-known comic books/series of the 20th century -- including "Watchmen," "V for Vendetta," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," a VERY famous Batman installment ... and lots more.

The dude's an absolute legend in the biz ... but as he's gotten older -- and stepped further away from writing comics -- he's gotten more and more cynical about the craft he helped shape ... and these latest remarks are doubling down on what he views as a problem.

Namely, he's talking about fascism ... and how he feels like the superhero genre, at large, lends itself to the extreme political ideology -- and not just that, but how our utter obsession with them in Hollywood is a sign for the worst ... at least according to him anyway.

For starters, AM kinda craps on adults who love this stuff ... saying, "Hundreds of thousands of adults [are] lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys -- and it was always boys -- of 50 years ago."

He goes on to say there were a lot of headlines coming out in the late 20th century that said comics had "grown up," but he refutes that with this ... "It wasn’t comics growing up. I think it was more comics meeting the emotional age of the audience coming the other way."

Alan hits his point home with this comment ... "I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see Batman movies. Because that kind of infantilization -- that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities -- that can very often be a precursor to fascism."

He points to Donald Trump's presidency and the sheer number of superhero movies that were being pumped out at the time (and since). It's because of this, in part, that he says he's done with comics ... apparently because they do more harm than good, subconsciously.

As for what he's getting at with the whole superheroes-are-fascist thing -- it's an age-old argument that's been debated ad nauseam ... which you can read about here.

Basically, some argue that superheroes -- by their very nature and story arcs -- prop up the idea of one person wielding ultimate power over society ... but doing it for the common good. It's very in the weeds on a sociological level, but this POV's been around for a while.

And, obviously, Alan very much sees it that way too. Although ... he seems to still be proud of his Guy Fawkes creation, 'cause of what it stands for in the zeitgeist. Chew on that!

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