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This morning on CBS’ Early Show, Joe Halderman’s attorney further outlined a strategy to show he didn’t blackmail David Letterman, and it’s dubious to say the least.

What prosecutors call extortion, Halderman laywer Gerald Shargel calls a business transaction. He was just offering Dave rights to a screenplay about his life! Duh!

Halderman claims he asked Letterman for $2 million for the “screenplay,” which admittedly was “a premium price” for a film about a sensational celebrity story.

Of course, if he truly wanted it made, one would think he’d shop it to real producers, rather than trying to embarrass and coerce Dave himself into buying it.

Minor details, right?

David Letterman’s questionable personal decisions may have indirectly gotten him into this mess, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the victim of a criminal act.

If Letterman thought it was a legitimate transaction, why would he call the police, therefore requiring him to out his own cheating on wife Regina Lasko anyway?

And if the police thought it was a business deal gone awry, why would they arrest Halderman to begin with? Such moves aren’t exactly made based on hearsay.

Despite Shargel’s claim that this is just “the way Hollywood works,” Dave’s lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, countered that there’s no way it wasn’t a blatant extortion plot.

Do you buy it? Here’s their legal point-counterpoint this morning …

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