Local attorneys react to Trump suggestion to outlaw "flipping"

1 year 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, August 23 2018 Aug 23, 2018 Thursday, August 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT August 23, 2018 in News
By: Celine Pence, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump told "Fox & Friends" Thursday that "flipping" should be illegal.

Flipping, according to attorney David Tyson Smith, is when a defendant provides information to the state or the federal government about another defendant. The goal of the government is to gather information on the person at the top doing the most damage.

"They'll say, 'I'll give you information about somebody else if in return, you give me a better deal.' Often times when people do that, it's rarely put in writing, so it's off the record sometimes when that happens," Smith said.

This comes following Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen's legal trouble, pleading guilty to eight charges on Tuesday.

"Donald Trump does not want the people in his inner-circle turning on them. He does not want them providing information, providing evidence," Smith said. "Here's what happens. They get Cohen, and they say 'you're looking at a lot of time unless you tell on Donald Trump,' and so he's obviously going to do that to get out of trouble."

Attorney Dan Viets thinks that making flipping illegal could be acceptable in cases where there is no violence or no identifiable victim. But politically, he doesn't see it going anywhere.

"In reality, it's not going to gather any political support from either sides. The job of federal prosecutors would become harder," he said. "It would force the prosecutors to prove their cases with evidence other than the testimony of other co-defendants. Many if not all federal prosecutions depend on one defendant testifying or at least offering to testify against another defendant."

President Trump also told "Fox & Friends" that flipping gives defendants an opportunity to "just make up lies." Viets agrees that in some cases, that can be true.

"It's a form of bribery. If a prosecutor offers a defendant the ability to avoid prison or a much shorter sentence, that's a form of bribery. But, it's a very common practice," he said.

Smith argues that this isn't always the case, because the defendant's comments still have to be tested under oath.

"The veracity of his comments is going to be tested in front of a jury and in front of a judge," he said. "Donald Trump's lawyers will have an opportunity to cross-examine Michael Cohen. So whatever Cohen says, he will have the opportunity to be cross-examined to find out if he's telling the truth. So, if Trump is really telling the truth about everything he's doing, he should have nothing to worry about."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department tweeted Saturday evening that due to weather, the 42nd annual Mid-Missouri Heritage... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 7:07:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Rain didn't stop family, friends and members of the Central Missouri chapter of Parents of Murdered Children... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 6:52:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri Police Department sent out a crime notification to students about a burglary Friday night.... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 6:17:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A mysterious substance caused dangerously slick road conditions on the entrance ramp to Highway 63 from Paris Road... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia College volleyball player Shelby Meyer died early Saturday morning in an off-campus accident. Meyer, 21, was... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 3:27:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri officials are reminding drivers about the importance of car seats during National Child Passenger Safety Week,... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Deputies arrested seven people in connection to a drug bust on Thursday, according to a news release.... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 1:52:00 PM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating a report of shots fired on McBaine Avenue near Sexton Road late Friday night. ... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, September 21 2019 Sep 21, 2019 Saturday, September 21, 2019 2:43:00 AM CDT September 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police announced Friday officers made an arrest in the homicide of E'quan Spain. Michael L. Anderson... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 10:46:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A crash involving three cars shut down a section of Providence Road Friday night. Columbia Urgent Care... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:34:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 6:09:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - The NCAA expected to hit the University of Kansas basketball program with multiple violations allegations. "After a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 4:10:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Football fans at Battle High School on Friday experienced Columbia Public Schools' new policy preventing kids from bringing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU students will pack Memorial Stadium to cheer on the Tigers during Saturday's SEC opener against South Carolina,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:38:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School District is replacing all of its trash cans with a three-tier waste system in all... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:20:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman and her late husband, who was killed by the suspect in four... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:11:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas confirmed Mayor Brian Treece suggested he resign over what became a criminal... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:45:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police are urging people not to leave grenades "just lying around" after the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:23:32 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
1am 72°
2am 70°
3am 69°
4am 69°