(CNN) — A series of communications between adult film star Stormy Daniels and an attorney now representing former President Donald Trump have been turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Daniels’ attorney confirmed to CNN.
The exchanges — said to date from 2018, when Daniels was looking for someone to represent her — raise the possibility that Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, will be left out of the former president’s defense in the case related to Trump’s role. in the alleged plan to pay for Daniels’ silence.
Daniels’ communications with Tacopina and other members of his firm include details related to the adult film actress’ situation, according to her current attorney, Clark Brewster, who believes the exchanges show a disclosure of confidential Daniels information.
Tacopina denies that there is any conflict and assures that he neither met nor spoke with Daniels.
CNN did not have access to the communications in question. However, legal ethics experts CNN spoke to said this could limit Tacopina’s role in the current case or even lead to his being disqualified from it. The impact this situation will have on the case will depend on the circumstances and the content of the communications, the ethics experts said.
The scrutiny into the alleged interactions between Daniels, Tacopina and the latter’s firm, however, underscores that the Trump team is already facing obstacles in tackling this years-long investigation, even before formal charges have been filed against the former president.
Although there are signs that the investigation is drawing to a close and preparations for an indictment are moving forward, it remains unclear if and when charges will be filed against Trump.
Brewster told CNN that he turned over Daniels’ communications to prosecutors after Tacopina made public statements that Daniels’ lawyer believes are contrary to what was evident in emails that the Trump advocate and his firm exchanged with Daniels.
Ultimately it would be up to a judge to decide whether the communications represent a conflict of interest that would lead to disqualification or some other limitation on the defense that Tacopina can make on behalf of the former president, if charges are brought against Trump.
In a television interview that Tacopina had with CNN’s Don Lemon in 2018, and which resurfaced in recent days, the lawyer suggests that he may have been in contact with Daniels before she found another lawyer for the case of the alleged hush payments. , which at the time was the focus of a federal investigation.
“I can’t really speak to my impressions or any conversations we’ve had because there’s an attorney-client privilege that applies even to a consultation,” Tacopina said in the 2018 interview. After the old interview video began to circulate again, Tacopina’s firm issued a statement this weekend saying there was “no attorney-client relationship,” a point Tacopina stands by to this day.
On Tuesday, Tacopina told CNN that comments from her 2018 interview “lacked clarity” and said she referenced attorney-client privilege in the television appearance “to finish the investigation, because someone on behalf of Stormy Daniel asked if I would represent her, and she did not wish to discuss the matter on television.”
“However, these circumstances do not give rise to an attorney-client relationship in any way,” Tacopina added Tuesday.
CNN’s Kara Scannell and Paula Reid contributed to this report.
Source: CNN Espanol