Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Why Did John Dowd Quit? Trump's Russia Probe Lead Lawyer Leaves Post

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Andrew Cummings | 26 March, 2018, 01:32

Attorney John Dowd confirmed his decision in an email, saying "I love the President and wish him well".

Dowd's resignation on Thursday comes as the president seeks to shake up his legal team amid frustrations within the White House over Mueller's probe.

But just Saturday Dowd appeared to depart from that course of cooperation when he called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's inquiry at the Justice Department, to "bring an end to the alleged Russian Federation collusion investigation".

Dowd walked that back when later speaking with the Post, telling the newspaper he was only speaking for himself.

On Twitter last week, the president attacked the New York Times over reporting that he was unhappy with his legal team.

The departure follows Mr Trump's addition of a new lawyer to his legal team who last week acused the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Justice Department of trying to frame Mr Trump with false charges of collusion.

Trump this week also alleged "tremendous leaking, lying and corruption" at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice Department and State Department. On Thursday the New York Times cited "two people briefed on the matter" in reporting that Trump had disapproved of Dowd's handling of his Saturday statement.

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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.

Dowd's resignation and the expectations of a legal-team shakeup indicate Trump is likely to increase his offensive against Mueller and the Russian Federation investigation, which the president has called a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

The ongoing investigation has grated on Trump, who has denied any collusion and refers to the probe as a "witch hunt".

John Dowd with Raj Rajaratnam, a founder of Galleon Group, in April 2011. Instead, he claimed, he was "VERY happy" with Dowd, Sekulow, and Ty Cobb, and thought they were "doing a great job".

Dowd was said to be considering resigning because he has no control over the president's behavior.

Dowd had taken over the lead lawyer role last summer from NY attorney Marc Kasowitz, who has always been by Trump's side. "He was fucking excited and jubilant", said one Trump friend who spoke to him in recent days.

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