Trump Lawyer Facing Possible Disqualification From Case As Charges Loom

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According to a current lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, the woman who was infamously targeted with $130,000 in illegal hush money before the 2016 presidential election that could now underlie a potential criminal case against Trump, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has obtained past communications between Daniels and a current lawyer for Trump.

That attorney presently on Trump’s team, Joe Tacopina, was apparently among those consulted about possibly representing Daniels in years past, which was the context for the disputed missives. According to certain available details, the communications also involved other figures at Tacopina’s firm, individuals who went unnamed in a report from CNN about the developments. “Daniels’ communications with Tacopina and others at his firm include details relating to Daniels’ situation,” Clark Brewster, the current attorney for Daniels, said, according to the summary from CNN. Per the same outlet, Tacopina denies he spoke with Daniels and that an attorney-client relationship was established — although that’s not where the bar is for a potential problem should a case against Trump dealing with the hush money move forward with Tacopina still part of Trump’s defense.

CNN cites rules from the New York Bar that assert “a lawyer who has learned information from a prospective client shall not use or reveal that information” no matter what specific relationship took shape. Tacopina could be disqualified from certain portions or the entirety of the case, a decision that would evidently fall to a judge, and even if he persists in his role on the ex-president’s team, he still faces restrictions evidently largely if not entirely blocking him from using certain details he may know or be able to access about Daniels’s situation. Tacopina spoke in a years-old interview on CNN about what seemed to be communications he had with, at the very least, Daniels’s team. If Tacopina does have otherwise generally inaccessible information about Daniels that the Trump team might seek to highlight in witness testimony, then he wouldn’t be able to also serve as a lawyer for Donald. Instead, his role would need to be confined to that of a witness under the relevant court rules.

Trump previously ranted online about supposedly getting the impression he was facing possible charges on Tuesday of this week — which now came and went without those developments evidently taking place, although the increasingly direct investigative moves from Bragg have independently suggested a final decision on potentially charging Trump, which would be up to a grand jury to approve, is imminent.