Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, denies consulting Stormy Daniels

Joe Tacopina, Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels

Joe Tacopina, Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. (Tacopina via AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File; Trump via Emily Elconin/Getty Images; Stormy via Tasia Wells/Getty Images for XBIZ)

Former President Donald Trump’s attorney has launched new questions about a 2016 interview in which he told CNN’s Don Lemon he had advised Stormy Daniels on what could amount to an attorney-client relationship.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina now denies ever having a history of or interactions with Daniels, saying his claims of attorney-client privilege were merely an innocent attempt to avoid a question as to why he would not represent her.

If Tacopina did, national security attorney Bradley Moss argued further Twitter that it would be “ethically suspicious” for him to represent Trump in the shadow of a criminal investigation into hush money payments to Daniels. Former Department of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman meant that the American Bar Association and the New York State code of ethics clearly would not allow it. Other legal experts agree.

The controversy stems from CNN’s transcript of Lemon’s March 16, 2018 interview with Tacopina, shortly before the raid on the home of Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen.

Daniels had been represented at the time by Michael Avenatti, who was a cable news darling, Twitter celebrity and alleged presidential candidate before facing coast-to-coast serial fraud charges.

However, Lemon said Daniels first reached out to Tacopina on the hush money issue.

“Before he was represented by Avenatti, Stormy approached you about representation,” Lemon noted. “Do you have the impression that she signed a non-disclosure agreement under duress and was she afraid for her physical safety?”

Tacopina did not dispute Lemon’s claim.

“Yes, of course, and I can’t really speak about my impressions or conversations because there’s attorney-client privilege that even comes with counseling,” Tacopina replied.

Tacopina, a prominent defense attorney, has represented former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, rapper Jay-Z, Fox News host Sean Hannity, New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, and Kimberly Guilfoyle. He apparently no longer wants to claim Daniels on his resume.

“I have no history with Stormy Daniels,” Tacopina told Law&Crime. “She contacted my company [through] a representative and asked if I would be interested in representing her and I said no. I never met her, spoke to her, or checked any of her documents. This does not affect my portrayal of President Trump.”

Law&Crime called Daniels directly to resolve the factual controversy, but she didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail.

In an interview, former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner said it was “not clear to me how Tacopina could represent Trump” if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) pursued an indictment over the hush money payments, as reports suggest Bragg this probably plans.

“He could certainly represent Trump in relation to the E. Jean Carroll case, which is not related to a former client and is not materially related to anything he has previously done,” Epner said.

Tacopina, however, has made the TV rounds in defense of Trump Bragg’s investigation, claiming Daniels was involved in “extortion.”

Epner states that the ethical rules also apply in the ether.

“The code of ethics for New York attorneys prevents him from speaking publicly about anything materially related to what she consulted him about, even if no attorney-client relationship resulted,” he noted.

To update:

In an email to Law&Crime late Friday, Tacopina said there was no conflict and no attorney-client relationship.

“I have not met Stormy Daniels nor reviewed her documents,” he said. “Instead someone asked on her behalf if I would represent her and of course I declined the request.

I dodged an unexpected question by giving an answer that lacked clarity. However, for the sake of clarity, please note that I never said that he spoke to or met Stormy Daniels. And that’s because I didn’t do it. My reference to attorney-client privilege was just to shut down the investigation because someone asked Stormy Daniel if I would represent them and I didn’t want to discuss the matter on TV. However, these circumstances do not in any way constitute an attorney-client relationship.”

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected] Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, denies consulting Stormy Daniels

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