Executive Branch

Critics ask why Dowd and Cobb have failed to assemble a 'battalion of lawyers' for the president

  • Print.

Screenshot of John Dowd/ABCNews.com.

Donald Trump’s legal response to a well-staffed effort by special counsel Robert Mueller is led primarily by John Dowd and Ty Cobb, leading critics to question why they have not “assembled a battalion of lawyers” for the president, according to a Washington Post story.

Dowd, a retired Akin Gump partner, “works essentially as a one-man band,” while Cobb, a former Hogan Lovells partner, is “a White House lawyer who works out of a small office in the West Wing basement, near the cafeteria where staffers get lunch,” the Post reports.

Another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has defended the president on television.

According to the article, many in Washington’s legal committee see Dowd and Cobb “as being indiscreet, error-prone and outmatched.” The critics point to a lunchtime conversation overheard by a New York Times reporter in which Cobb and Dowd discussed differences among the legal team. They also point to Dowd taking credit for a Trump tweet about Michael Flynn that some suggested could increase legal exposure for the president.

Ty Cobb/Hogan Lovells.

Some believe Dowd and Cobb should have assembled more lawyers to help Trump, and they should not be so cooperative with Mueller.

Cobb is a government-paid lawyer whose duty is to the office of the presidency. That means he lacks attorney-client privilege and Mueller’s office could seek to obtain his notes or to interview him about his interactions with Trump, according to the Post.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told the Post that “there certainly have been gaffes” by the lawyers.

“These are not the kinds of things that one would expect from the most powerful man in America, who has a choice of anybody to be his defense counsel,” he said.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.