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26 March 2018, 01:28 | Colleen Roy
Mueller and Trump
John Dowd, the lead attorney on President Donald Trump's legal team, resigned Thursday given substantial disagreements with the president over the direction of his defense.
The president rebuffed these claimsin a series of tweets in mid-March, saying the paper "purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russian Federation case and am going to add another lawyer to help out".
Dowd said he made the decision voluntarily, and he denied reports that his departure had to do with Trump ignoring his legal advice.
In what could be a factor in Dowd's retirement, the New York Times reported that Trump met with Washington lawyer Emmet T. Flood, who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment, about taking over as the lead lawyer in the Mueller probe.
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Notwithstanding statements like these, the President clearly feels that the current team-which also includes Jay Sekulow and Ty Cobb, as the in-house White House representative-hasn't played enough hardball. The White House and later Dowd had to clarify the statement, saying the president's legal team wasn't calling for Mueller to be fired.
Mr Dowd was handpicked by longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz over the summer, when it became clear Mr Mueller's investigation could last months, if not years, and questions were raised about whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice.
He added: "You can guess which strategy Trump himself prefers". The argument was that the tweet indicated that Trump already knew Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time, and still asked Comey to back off. Asking the FBI Director to stop investigating someone who Trump knew committed a crime would potentially be enough for an obstruction charge.
DiGenova has already appeared to court favor with Trump when he publicly said that the 45th president was "framed" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice. "We will continue our ongoing representation of the President and our cooperation with the Office of Special Counsel".
"I think that Dowd probably felt ill-used by Trump and that just seems to be a continuing issue with Trump and his team".
The departure comes as the president has intensified his attacks on the Mr Mueller in recent weeks.
Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School who's an expert on criminal law, said Trump's legal team consisted of "two camps".
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