As the former president was present in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday afternoon (April 4), the Expensive Pain artist shared a photo from the arraignment on his Instagram Story featuring Trump seated with his lawyers in the courtroom. With a headline in bold letters across it, Meek Mill’s caption read, “Trump graduated from the streets…sharing criminal lawyers [with us]…Joe Tactical.”
“Joe Tactical” is the rapper’s moniker for Joe Tacopina, who is representing the former president in this case. Meek Mill would then post another photo, this time of himself standing next to Tacopina after a court hearing. The picture stems from the rapper’s 2017 case where he sought to overturn a prison sentence he received for violating probation on a decade-old gun and drug case.
Tacopina and the rest of the legal team would prove that Judge Genece Brinkley’s initial ruling was “unjust.” The ruling led to Meek Mill being released by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after serving five months. The case would go on to be a bellwether that highlighted the racial disparities seen in the probation process and the criminal justice system overall. Meek Mill has since become a strong advocate for criminal justice reform.
Tacopina has made a name for himself as a tough and steely litigator who was formerly a criminal prosecutor in Brooklyn. He’s been a fixture on television since being retained by Trump, insisting that the former president hasn’t broken any laws and calling the indictment “political persecution.” Tacopina has not shied away from representing high-profile figures. He represented A Bronx Tale actor Lillo Brancato on murder/weapons charges, actress Taryn Manning on assault charges, rapper YG on suspicion of robbery and former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez during his steroid scandal and suspension in 2014.
There are some who view Tacopina in a bad light, one of them being former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik. A firm supporter of Trump, Kerik declined to comment when asked about Tacopina’s hiring. “I am not going to get into it,” he said. Records show that Kerik had requested the state disciplinary committee to disbar Tacopina, whom he accused of cooperating againstjoe tacopina him in secret during a federal investigation that would see the former cop serve a 48-month prison sentence.