President Trump Declares: I Still Want to Testify in Mueller Probe

Lucy Bush
March 26, 2018

John Dowd, the lead attorney on President Donald Trump's legal team, resigned Thursday given substantial disagreements with the president over the direction of his defense.

According to two sources who spoke to the New York Times, John Dowd resigned on Thursday because the president "was increasingly ignoring his advice" on how to respond to the special counsel's probe into Russian Federation and possible collusion with members of Trump's team.

Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, said the legal team will continue its work defending the president.

On Saturday, Dowd called for an end to the investigation, which he said was manufactured by former FBI director James Comey.

Trump has told reporters that he was eager to speak with Mueller, but Dowd has been far more apprehensive, and the lawyers have not publicly committed to making the president available for questioning.

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Earlier this week, Trump was again attacking the Special Counsel on Twitter and questioning its legitimacy by quoting Democrat and law professor Alan Dershowitz.

It is a sign of a potentially more aggressive drive to discredit Mr Mueller.

But Trump's self-liberation comes at a risky moment, with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation reaching closer and closer, stoking Trump's impulses to go to war.

Over the weekend, Mr Dowd issued a statement calling for an end to special counsel's investigation. "He was fucking excited and jubilant", said one Trump friend who spoke to him in recent days.

The resignation came as Mr Trump furthered his feud with former vice-president Joe Biden.

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President Donald Trump this week seemed to hire controversial attorney Joseph diGenova, a regular Fox News guest who is known for spouting conspiracy theories about the "deep state" conspiring to frame the president for crimes.

John Dowd, 77, is reported to have concluded that Mr Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.

In an email, Dowd said "I pray" that the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller, "will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR] and attorney general Jeff Sessions", who fired McCabe.

The president's attorneys and the special counsel's office have for several months discussed the parameters of a meeting. "Changing counsels is extreme and seems like a unsafe way to handle your misgivings... the media is going to jump all over this and interpret his lead counsel resigning as some sort of indication that maybe Trump is more guilty than he's leading on".

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