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03 May 2018, 02:12 | Marta Robbins
President Donald Trump's legal team is losing a member- Ty Cobb
Outside the White House, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd were put in charge of handling the president's personal legal matters related to the Russian Federation probe.Dowd abruptly resigned earlier this year, and Cobb plans to depart at the end of the month.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday hired a veteran attorney who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process as the White House shifted to a more aggressive approach to a special counsel investigation that has reached a critical stage.
Trump previously has denied knowledge of the payment, which has since spurred a lawsuit against the President. He insisted that he was "VERY happy" with his team of lawyers, which included Cobb, John Dowd, and Jay Sekulow.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion allegations has been fraught from its outset with concerns about anti-Trump bias and pro-Hillary Clinton bias within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI.
Many of Trump's supporters have long wished he would quit commenting on his legal situation - because he often seems to dig himself in deeper.
Last year, Flood turned down a post on the White House team that ultimately went to Cobb, Reutersreported in July.
The move to replace Cobb with Flood comes as pressure from the Mueller investigation mounts.
The White House announced the hiring of lawyer Emmet Flood after disclosing the retirement of Ty Cobb, who for months has been the administration's point person dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller. Mukasey declined to comment. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Cobb had been discussing the decision for "several weeks".
"I've been working with the personnel people on a retirement date and we settled on the end of this month", Cobb told ABC News' Jonathan Karl during an interview on Wednesday.
Washington lawyer John Dowd, who left Trump's outside legal team over a month ago, said on Tuesday that in March, Mueller had threatened to subpoena Trump's testimony if he did not talk to investigators. It's the latest shakeup for the legal team grappling with unresolved questions on how to protect the president from legal and political jeopardy.
Trump's legal team has been deeply divided on strategy since past year, especially on the issue of whether Trump should accept to be interviewed by Mueller, or claim his executive privilege to refuse.
Trump's complaint that he is too busy to testify will likely not cut much ice legally: In 1997 the Supreme Court ruled that Clinton's argument that he was too busy to give testimony in the Paula Jones civil suit had no merit.
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Giuliani later clarified, telling Fox News that Trump repaid Cohen "over several months" through placing the lawyer on a "retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president".
Giuliani also told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he hopes to push any meeting between Trump and Mueller until after the President's meeting with Korean leader Kim Jong Un. There have been hints that his legal advisers are torn on the matter.
Just days after John Dowd quit in March, Trump said that many "lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russian Federation case...don't believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on".
This may explain this week's spate of revelations.
"When you see the questions and the Mueller leak, the questions are clearly not about any crime that the president may have committed". The subpoena threat is today's news.
Although Cobb does not personally represent the president, he has functioned as a critical point person for Mueller's document and interview requests, coordinated dealings with prosecutors and worked closely with Trump's personal lawyers.
What is Mueller's latest move?
Cobb was a strong advocate that the president should sit down with the special counsel, repeatedly advising cooperation as a way to get the probe wrapped up quickly.
A list of possible questions has been published in the New York Times.
Speaking on the Michael Smerconish show on Sirius XM on Monday, diGenova also said Mueller would be guilty of "outrageous, sophomoric" and "juvenile" behavior if he asked what Trump was thinking when he fired FBI Director James Comey.
Michael Hayden, who ran the CIA and the National Security Agency when Mueller helmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the special counsel's character dictated that he eliminate every lead.
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The situation is similar to when reports surfaced that then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a "moron". Moreover, the staff of NBC to continue to claim that he relied in his publication on numerous and reliable sources.
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