Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina exits Trump's legal defense team

 January 16, 2024

This week, a weird twist in former President Donald Trump's legal circle happened.

According to The Hill, Joe Tacopina, an attorney representing high-profile clients, including Trump in his New York-based trials, suddenly exited the Trump legal team.

The outlet noted:

Tacopina had represented Trump in both his criminal hush money case — one of four indictments Trump faces — and a sexual battery civil lawsuit brought by longtime advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

It is still unclear, according to reports, why Tacopina decided to leave Trump's legal team, though he did confirm the move to reporters.

Notably, his departure came before Trump was set to face a second trial involving author E. Jean Carroll. It also came the day before the Iowa caucuses, which Trump won in a landslide.

The Hill added:

Tacopina is not counsel in the Carroll case about to head to trial, but he was representing Trump in his appeal of last year’s verdict. Tacopina on Monday sent a notice seeking to withdraw himself and his firm as Trump’s counsel in that appeal.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung released a statement in the wake of Tacopina's exit, insisting that Trump's legal defense team remains strong.

"President Trump has the most experienced, qualified, disciplined, and overall strongest legal team ever assembled as he continues to fight for America and Americans against these partisan, Crooked Joe Biden-led election interference hoaxes," Cheung said.

While it's unclear if Tacopina was asked to depart the team, Trump has historically switched up his legal teams prior to some of his big legal cases.

Social media users reacted to the news with their own thoughts on what they believed might have happened.

"I believe Alina [Habba] is taking over that case…. That’s the reason," one X user wrote.

Another X user wrote, "Absolutely bizarre timing and if he was a big part of the legal team on either case, his departure at such a critical moment could severely handicap President Trump. I’m sure there’s more to this story."

Only time will tell if Trump hires someone to replace him or shuffles his team as he has in the past.