Joe Tacopina, the lawyer for former President Donald Trump now embroiled in conflict of interest allegations for his prior connections to adult film star Stormy Daniels, was roasted on CNN Wednesday by legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers.
"I want to get to this Joe Tacopina thing that we have been talking about, because it could be a game changer when it comes to representation and so forth," said anchor Don Lemon. "I'm going to play what he said back in 2018 and what he's saying."
He then proceeded to show contrasting clips of the Trump attorney's past and recent statements.
"I mean, you know once that net is out, once the microscope is on, everything is fair game and it's hard to argue, oh, you can't look at this or you can't look at that," said Tacopina in a 2018 clip, from around the time Daniels sought to hire him for her case against Trump. "So yes, if there's an issue with that payment, the Stormy Daniels, being that it was made on behalf of the candidate, okay, and it was not declared, that's fair game, that a lawyer took out a home equity loan with his own money, paid somebody that he didn't even know on behalf of a client who, by the way, had the wherewithal the money to afford $130,000, and, by the way, didn't tell the client about the settlement agreement. It's an illegal agreement, as to fraud, if that's in fact, the case. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't pass the straight face test. And quite frankly, if that is what happened, we have a potential campaign finance issue."
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This was contrasted with a clip of Tacopina from this month, defending Trump as his client as he faces indictment over the Daniels payment: "Does anyone actually believe — anyone, left, right, middle, whatever — that if someone else were accused of paying hush money to avoid a public sex scandal in the manner that Donald Trump is alleged to have, um, avoided the public sex scandal, they would be prosecuted? The answer is 100 percent no."
"Okay so you have the Stormy Daniels — the current possibility of piercing attorney-client privilege. Let's set that to the side," said Lemon. "He is now representing Donald Trump. Back then he was making, it appears — correct me if I'm wrong — the complete opposite argument of what he's making today."
"So this is why people make jokes about lawyers, right?" said Rodgers. "Lawyers are advocates. They're not fact witnesses, so he's representing one client. Now he's going to put forward that position back in the day. He was maybe not representing Stormy Daniels, but was kind of talking about what her side of things would be. So you know, he's not a fact witness, like, it's okay to take a different position or put a different position out in the press. The real question is, did he represent her? What did he learn from her? And does that mean that he now cannot represent Donald Trump? And, you know, the judge will will sort all that out."
"Usually in these cases, they don't actually disqualify the person," Rodgers added. "Courts do like to honor a criminal defendant's choice of council. So probably they will say, you can't use anything you learned, you can't cross examine her. If this goes to trial, but they'll probably let him stay on the case."
Watch the video below or at this link.
Jennifer Rodgers on Joe Tacopina www.youtube.com