Former President Donald Trump’s attorney faced questions over a 2016 interview, in which he told CNN’s Don Lemon that he provided Stormy Daniels with consultations that could amount to a lawyer-attorney relationship. customer.
Attorney Joseph Tacopina now denies having had any history or interactions with Daniels.
If Tacopina did it, national security attorney Bradley Moss argued Twitter that it would be “ethically suspect” for him to represent Trump in the shadow of a criminal investigation into silent payments to Daniels. Ryan Goodman, former special adviser to the Department of Defense opined that the American Bar Association and New York State ethics rules would clearly not allow it. Other jurists agree.
The controversy stems from CNN’s transcript of Lemon’s interview with Tacopina from March 16, 2018, shortly before the raid on the home of Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
Daniels at the time was represented by Michael Avenatti, who was a cable news darling, Twitter celebrity and rumored presidential hopeful before his coast-to-coast serial fraud lawsuits.
Lemon, however, said Daniels first approached Tacopina over the silent money issue.
“So before being represented by Avenatti, Stormy approached you about representation,” Lemon noted. “Did you have any impression that she might have signed an NDA under duress and was she afraid for her physical safety?”
Tacopina did not dispute Lemon’s claim.
“Yeah, sure, and I can’t really speak to my impressions or the conversations we had because there’s an attorney-client privilege that even attaches to a consultation,” Tacopina replied.
A top defense attorney, Tacopina has represented former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, rapper Jay-Z, Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate and Kimberly Guilfoyle. . He apparently doesn’t want to claim Daniels on his resume anymore.
“I don’t have a history with Stormy Daniels,” Tacopina told Law&Crime. “She contacted my company [through] a representative and asked me if I would be interested in representing her and I said no. I have never met her, spoken to her or reviewed any of her documents. This does not affect my portrayal of President Trump.
Tacopina did not immediately respond to a follow-up email asking him to reconcile his current stance with his years-long remarks to Lemon. Law&Crime called Daniels directly in an effort to resolve the factual controversy, but she did not immediately respond to a voicemail.
In an interview, former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner said it’s “unclear to me how Tacopina could represent Trump” if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) arraigns the payouts. silent money, as reports indicate Bragg is likely planning to do.
“He could certainly represent Trump with respect to the E. Jean Carroll matter, which is not with a former client and is not substantially related to anything he has done before,” Epner said.
Tacopina, however, made the rounds on TV to defend Trump in the Bragg investigation, saying Daniels engaged in “extortion.”
Even on the air, notes Epner, ethical rules apply.
“The ethical rules governing New York lawyers prevent her from making public comments about anything materially related to what she consulted him about, even if they didn’t end up forming a lawyer-lawyer relationship. customer,” he noted.
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