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Stormy Daniels’s Conflict Complaint Against Trump Lawyer Tossed

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, filed a complaint alleging that one of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys in his hush-money case has a conflict of interest. However, the New York attorney grievance committee dismissed the complaint.

Daniels filed the complaint earlier this year, claiming that lawyer Joe Tacopina had a conflict of interest due to his previous dealings with her. Daniels was paid the money that was at the core of Trump’s criminal case in 2016.

“Following an investigation of the allegations in the above-referenced complaint filed against you, the Committee has determined to take no further action,” Jorge Dopico, chief attorney for the Attorney Grievance Committee of the First Judicial Department, told Tacopina in a letter.

Tacopina had no conflict of interest, according to the September ruling of the judge supervising Trump’s hush money case, even though the Trump lawyer had promised not to cross-examine Daniels should she testify in court.

“Now both the court and the disciplinary committee have ruled that there was no conflict or ethical violation at all, as I have said from day one. It seems that Stormy Daniels and her joke of a lawyer’s 15 minutes of fame have come to an appropriate end,” Tacopina told The Hill in an email.

In the case, Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments he made to Michael Cohen, his personal attorney and former fixer, for Daniels’ silence regarding claims that she had an affair with him.

Trump has denied the affair and entered a not-guilty plea.

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Tacopina’s involvement sparked questions at the time of Trump’s April arraignment. In a letter, Daniels’s lawyer, Clark Brewster, disclosed that Daniels had previously gotten in touch with Tacopina’s legal office to inquire about the hush money arrangement.

Tacopina has maintained for a long time that he never met with Daniels and never represented her.

“I trust that the grievance committee gave the complaint diligent and careful consideration,” Brewster said in an email. “In reporting the facts to the committee, I simply felt obliged under the rules of professional conduct to disclose the facts implicating a rule violation and thereupon leave it to a well-constituted committee to render its judgment.”

The current date of Trump’s trial in this case is set for March 25. The former president is attempting to reenter the White House, and this is one of his four ongoing criminal cases.

He has made multiple pre-trial attempts to have the charges dropped, and on February 15, the judge is scheduled to hear those motions. The judge could also change the trial schedule during that hearing.

Daniels made headlines over the summer when she spoke to the New York Post and said she was concerned that she made life worse for Americans.

When asked if she believed it would be worth it if her scandal prevented Trump from becoming president again, she said, “It depends on who gets elected instead. It could be even worse. And then I’ve made the most terrible mistake.”

The interview came a week after another interview she did with Fox Nation.

She sat with host Piers Morgan for an interview in which she said she would testify against the former president if asked. She also said that she does not think Trump should be incarcerated based on this case.

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“I just finished an astonishing 90-minute interview with Stormy Daniels,” the interviewer said on Twitter. “Everyone’s had their say about her, now she tells HER story about the fling that may send President Trump to prison.”

“It’s daunting, but I look forward to it. You know what I mean? Because I have nothing to hide,” Daniels said of testifying. “I’m the only one that has been telling the truth. And, you know, it can’t shame me anymore.”

“I think having them call me in and put me on the stand legitimizes my story and who I am. And if they don’t, it almost feels like they’re hiding me,” she said.

She does not believe he deserves to be imprisoned in the hush money case but had thoughts on other cases against him.

“I don’t think that his crimes against me are worthy of incarceration,” she said. “I feel like the other things that he has done if he is found guilty. Absolutely.”

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The adult star was interviewed by The Times of London, and CNN played a clip of the interview in which Daniels said she is in fear for her life.

“And for the first time, since Trump’s indictment, we are also now hearing from the woman, at the center of it all, Stormy Daniels, who was the recipient of the hush money payout, at the center of this case. The adult film star says that the threats against her are only intensifying, tonight,” CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins said before playing the clip.

“This time it’s straight-up violent. You know, like, the first time it was like, gold digger, slut, whore, you know, liar, whatever. And this time it’s like – I’m going to murder you,” Daniels said in the interview.

“Are you frightened?” the interviewer asked.

“For the first time ever, yes,” the adult star responded. “And I don’t, I’m not afraid of him or the, you know, the government. But it just takes one crazy supporter who thinks they’re doing, you know, God’s work or you know, protecting democracy, you know. And it’s – I mean I’m just looking at a couple of things that have come through in the last two hours and they’re way more violent and graphic,” the adult star said.

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