Reports: Trump Reshuffling Legal Team As Mueller Digs Into Trump Finances

Marc Kasowitz personal attorney of President Donald Trump, leaves a packed room at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017 after delivering a statement following the congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

On Wednesday, the President aired his grievances with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election, suggesting to the New York Times that it would be a “violation” if Mueller started looking into his family’s finances.

On Thursday, it came to light that Mueller would, in fact, be taking a look at a number of Russia-related business transactions the President has conducted in recent years.

By Thursday evening, President Donald Trump’s legal team spokesperson resigned — after just two months in the position — confirming reports that there may be some reshuffling on the President’s legal team as the Mueller investigation continues to swirl.

Spokesman Mark Corallo resigned Thursday evening after growing frustrated with the legal team’s operations and concerned about whether he was being told the truth, according to reports from Politico, CNN and the New York Times. Corallo, who has publicly praised Mueller for his credibility, told an unnamed Politico source that there was “too much fighting all the time” and he no longer needed the money.

The resignation follows reports that the President hired veteran Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to handle all media questions on the Russia investigation and that Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz — who has represented Trump for years on a number of issues — may be moving into a diminished role on the legal team.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Trump and Kasowitz have clashed over the Russia probe.

Kasowitz will no longer be leading the team’s legal strategy, according to CNN and Politico. That will now be handled by attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Dowd, a veteran D.C. lawyer, will take the lead on the case, according to the Times. Sekulow, a frequent Trump booster in TV interviews, will be Dowd’s No. 2, according to the Times.

The move comes as Kasowitz faces scrutiny over ProPublica reports on his poor behavior outside of work and profane emails he sent to a stranger.

The legal team’s strategy will reportedly now go on the offensive against Mueller and the Russia probe, with plans to look into the backgrounds of Mueller’s team to find conflicts of interest that they could use to discredit or fire the special counsel.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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