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Justin Dillon’s Comments on Trump-“Morning Joe” Feud Featured in BuzzFeed News

Partner Justin Dillon recently said in an interview with Buzzfeed News that no criminal laws appear to have been broken in the feud between President Donald J. Trump and MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, regarding President Trump’s alleged promise to have the National Enquirer quash a story about the two morning-show hosts in exchange for an apology from Ms. Brzezinski.

The article interviewed legal experts on whether any of the alleged activities rose to the level of extortion, blackmail, or bribery.

Mr. Dillon said, “I would call it icky horsetrading, but it is not blackmail. It’s more like, ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ Blackmail is, ‘If you don’t scratch my back, I’ll stab you in the back.’”

He also did not see a case for extortion: “It would be one thing if [Trump] were saying, ‘If you don’t apologize to me, I will make the Enquirer run this story.’ But there’s a difference between sort of refusing to intervene to prevent a bad thing from happening and affirmatively making a bad thing happen, and that is a distinction that matters under the law.”

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