President Trump Announces Exit of White House Lawyer Emmet Flood

June 1, 2019 Updated: June 1, 2019

President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that the top lawyer who was representing the administration during the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe will be stepping down from his role.

White House counsel Emmet Flood will be leaving his post on June 14, Trump said in a tweet.

“Emmet Flood, who came to the White House to help me with the Mueller Report, will be leaving service on June 14th. He has done an outstanding job – NO COLLUSION – NO OBSTRUCTION! Case Closed! Emmet is my friend, and I thank him for the GREAT JOB he has done,” Trump wrote.

Flood was expected to leave his post following the conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation into the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump administration to influence the 2016 presidential election, reported The Wall Street Journal in March.

Mueller’s more-than 400 pages report was released in April this year. The report did not establish that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and it also did not reach a determination on whether Trump had obstructed justice.

Earlier this month, Flood wrote a letter (pdf) to Attorney General William Barr saying that Mueller’s report contained “an extraordinary legal defect.” It also criticized the special counsel for not reaching a determination regarding the alleged obstruction of justice charge.

The letter stated that the report had produced “a prosecutorial curiosity – part ‘truth commission’ report and part law school exam paper,” reported Reuters.

“What prosecutors are supposed to do is complete an investigation and then either ask the grand jury to return an indictment or decline to charge the case,” it stated.

Flood, an experienced Washington lawyer, holds the job of a special counsel to the president. He joined the White House at the end of last year. He previously represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings in the 1990s, reported Fox News.

End of Russia Probe

Mueller formally announced an end to the Russia investigation as well as his resignation at the department during a press conference at the Justice Department on May 29. He added that he would not make further comments about the investigation and said anyone with further inquiries about the probe should refer to his more than 400-page report as his testimony.

At the press conference, Mueller said the decision to not decide on the potential obstruction of justice charge was influenced by a DOJ policy that prohibits charging a sitting president with a federal crime, adding that the special counsel refrained from making a determination out of a desire to be fair to the president.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrives to make a statement about the Russia investigation at the Justice Department in Washington on May 29, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Barr argued in a recent interview that Mueller’s reason for not making a determination was not true.

“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr said during an interview with CBS on May 30. Barr said Mueller “had his reasons” for not making a recommendation but declined to explain, adding: “I’m not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”

Barr said the office’s opinion was relevant, but it didn’t prohibit Mueller from making a determination about whether the president had committed a crime.

“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr said.

NTD Reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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