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Attorney Joe Tacopina withdraws from Trump’s legal team

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits with his attorneys Joe Tacopina and Boris Epshteyn inside the courtroom during his arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Court April 4, 2023 in New York City. (Andrew Kelly-Pool/Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump on Monday lost an experienced defense attorney from his legal roster.

Joe Tacopina told ABC News, “I withdrew on all matters.”

Tacopina accompanied Trump when the former president pleaded not guilty in New York last April to charges that he falsified business records stemming from his hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan DA’s office allege that Trump engaged in a “scheme” to boost his election chances during the 2016 presidential race through a series of hush money payments made by others to help his campaign, and then “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records” to conceal that criminal conduct. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

In a letter to Judge Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing the case, Tacopina wrote, “I write to respectfully inform the Court that my firm, Chad Seigel and I hereby withdraw as counsel for Defendant Donald J. Trump in this proceeding,”

Susan Necheles is Trump’s lead counsel in the case. Attorney Todd Blanche also appeared at April’s arraignment.

Tacopina also represented Trump in the civil defamation and battery case brought by former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, in which Trump was found liable and ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.

Tacopina will no longer handle Trump’s appeal of that verdict.

Attorney Alina Habba and her partner Michael Maddaio are representing Trump in Carroll’s other lawsuit in that case, which is scheduled to go on trial Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.

Tacopina was one of the most accomplished trial lawyers on Trump’s legal team, with a long history of criminal case victories. His client list has included former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, Fox News host Sean Hannity and rapper A$AP Rocky.

He declined to comment further on his withdrawal as Trump’s attorney.

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