John Dowd, Trump’s Lead Attorney in Russia Probe, Resigns

March 22, 2018 Updated: March 22, 2018

John Dowd, President Donald Trump’s lead outside counsel in the Russia probe, resigned on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported citing a spokesman.

Dowd led Trump’s legal team handling the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and related matters.

“I love the president and I wish him well,” Dowd told Wall Street Journal in a written statement.

Dowd quit amid an internal disagreement with other lawyers on the team about whether Trump should agree to an interview with Mueller, Fox News reported. Dowd advised the president against doing so, while other lawyers on the team believe that an interview with Mueller, under the right conditions, is advisable.

With Dowd gone, Trump’s outside team has three lawyers: Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow, and Joseph diGenova. All three have defended the president in the media and gone after the FBI and DOJ for bias against Trump.

“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Sekulow said in a statement to The Hill. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of the special counsel.”

Dowd made national headlines over the weekend by calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end the Mueller investigation, saying that it was manufactured by now-fired FBI Director James Comey based on an unverified anti-Trump dossier.

Trump intensified his criticism of Mueller last week, calling the special counsel out by name in a string of Twitter messages.

“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” Trump wrote on March 18. “It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

In a follow-up tweet the next day, the president asked why Mueller’s team is staffed with “13 hardened Democrats” and no Republicans.

“Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair?” Trump asked. “And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!”

Some Republicans, notably Trey Gowdy, criticized the president’s approach. Asked about Gowdy’s comments, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president was venting frustration about the protracted investigation.

“To pretend like going through this absurd process over a year would not bring frustration seems a little ridiculous,” Sanders said.

“I don’t think any individual, including members of Congress, would like it if they had been accused of taking their seat in Congress by doing something nefarious when they hadn’t, particularly if it went on for more than a year into their time in office,” she added.



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