Executive Branch

Trump says many top law firms want to represent him after diGenova about-face

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President Donald Trump has just one full-time personal lawyer representing him in the Russia investigation after John Dowd quit the legal team last week and an announcement was made that Joseph diGenova won’t be representing the president after all.

Trump is personally represented full-time by Jay Sekulow, a litigator for evangelical legal groups, report the New York Times (here and here), the Washington Post and the National Law Journal.

Sekulow said in a statement on Sunday that diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, were prevented from representing the president in the Russia probe because of conflicts of interest, but they could still represent Trump in other legal matters. DiGenova and Toensing practice law together in their own firm.

Another lawyer, Ty Cobb, is in a government-funded position representing the institution of the presidency.

Toensing represents Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team who has reportedly spoken with investigators about the drafting of a statement in regards to Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. Toensing also represent Sam Clovis, a national co-chair for the Trump campaign.

According to the Times, Trump reportedly met with diGenova and Toensing, and he “did not believe he had personal chemistry with them.” The assertion is based on two anonymous sources.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that “many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case,” but some can’t be hired because of conflict. “Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer,” he said. He added that “I am very happy with my existing team.”

The New York Times reports, however, that leading white-collar defense lawyers have rejected overtures from Trump, sometimes because their firms fear a backlash. Trump reportedly spoke with lawyers Emmet Flood and Theodore Olson, but neither joined the legal team. According to the Times, Trump disliked the fact that Flood had represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment, and Flood didn’t want to represent Trump if another lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, had any involvement with the team.

Dowd reportedly quit because Trump wanted to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, which was contrary to Dowd’s advice.

Kasowitz could take on a more public role as a result of legal team changes, according to the National Law Journal.

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