Russia: President's legal team shake-up falters

The New York Times reports that Trump "has decided not to hire" two lawyers (including Joseph E. diGenova, who floated the conspiracy theory to Fox News that Trump is being framed by the FBI) whose appointments were recently announced as part of his team.

President Trump boasted Sunday that many lawyers - with the prospect of "fame & fortune" - want to represent him in the Russian Federation collusion investigation, amid news reports that Trump can not hire top-rate lawyers for the job.

Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova and his attorney wife, Victoria Toensing, will not be coming aboard, despite an announcement last week to that effect, according to the president's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow.

Trump "is disappointed that conflicts prevent" the couple from joining his team, Sekulow said in a statement, but stopped short of saying what those conflicts are.

"The President looks forward to working with them, " he added.

Dowd resigned from his role as one of the attorneys representing him in the investigations into ties between the president's 2016 campaign team and Russian Federation.

Trump's legal team shakeup comes as he weighs whether to agree to an interview with Mueller.

But Trump said he is "very happy with my existing legal team".

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FILE - President Donald Trump holds a photo of the border area as he reviews border wall prototypes, March 13, 2018, in San Diego.

DiGenova's conflicts do not prevent him from continuing his media advocacy for Trump or against the investigation. DiGenova, who provided the statement to The Associated Press, declined to answer additional questions about the nature of his and Toensing's representation of the president.

Trump's legal team has now shrunk to two: Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer who does not personally represent the president and occasionally draws grumbles from him, and Sekulow, an outside conservative attorney and radio host.

Toensing has represented former Trump legal team spokesperson Mark Corallo, including when Corallo spoke with Mueller's office in February. Ruddy, who is the chief executive of Newsmax Media, said he expected the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to stay in his job, despite the president's chafing at what he sees as the restrictions Mr. Kelly has placed on him.

At the last minute Friday, the president threatened to veto the spending bill but then signed it into law.

Trump representatives have reached out to some of those firms again more recently, sources said.

Trump later added that he remains more than content with the dwindling legal team he already has assembled.

  • Adam Floyd