ORDERED: Trump’s attorney must turn over communications regarding Stormy Daniels

ORDERED: Trump's attorney must turn over communications regarding Stormy Daniels

Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Donald Trump, has been ordered to submit documents so that a judge can determine whether he has a conflict of interest in handling the former president’s 34 felony charges for falsifying business records. The case hinges on payments made to Stormy Daniels, and therein, too, may lie the conflict.

Daniels contacted Tacopina’s law firm, Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo, seeking representation in 2018 and shared some information about her situation regarding Trump, their brief affair, and the hush money payments made to her by his then-attorney, Michael Cohen.

Now the question is whether the information she shared at the time should prevent Tacopina from a role representing Trump in this case, and what information he may have discussed with others, including his client.

Daniels has turned over documentation of her communications with the law firm, and Tacopina has downplayed this, saying that he never spoke to her and that she ultimately did not hire his firm to represent her.

However, the court doesn’t seem to be satisfied with that and is looking for more information from him.

Now he has less than two weeks to turn over the material, which is to include any emails or other correspondence regarding communications with Daniels, as well as any notes that may have been taken about those communications.

Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has ordered the documents submitted by May 15th, according to the New York Law Journal.

Last month, Daniels’ attorney, expressed a concern that the communications contained confidential information, which should not be possessed by an attorney representing Trump in the case.

From CNN:

“[L]egal ethics experts CNN spoke with said they could lead to limits being placed on the role Tacopina can play at trial or even his disqualification. The impact that the disclosure will have on the case will depend on the circumstances and the substance of the communications, the ethics experts said.”

Trump is alleged to have falsified business records to cover up his reimbursement of Cohen for the hush money payments, effectively protecting his 2016 campaign from the story. He argues that he did not have an affair with Daniels, that he only made the payments to keep her story from embarrassing his wife and family, and that it had nothing to do with his campaign.