President Donald Trump has hired Marc Kasowitz to serve as outside legal counsel and help the President navigate the federal investigation into potential collusion between his campaign officials and Russia, according to several news reports.
The news of Kasowitz’s hiring was first reported Tuesday by ABC News and Fox Business, and it was subsequently confirmed by additional outlets, including the Washington Post and Politico.
Trump’s decision to hire outside counsel comes as the investigation into his associates’ ties to Russia ramps up with the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.
Kasowitz has worked with Trump in the past and has been in regular communication with the President since he took office, according to Politico. Kasowitz represents Trump in a defamation lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant who accused Trump of groping her. Kasowitz sought to dismiss that case on behalf of Trump in March, arguing that Trump is immune to lawsuits in state court as President.
Kasowitz also sent a letter to the New York Times in October on behalf of Trump, arguing that the paper’s report about allegations that Trump groped several women was “reckless and defamatory.”
Trump’s decision to hire Kasowitz may have thrown a wrench into the White House’s plans to consider former Sen. Joe Lieberman as the next FBI director. Trump himself said last week that Lieberman, who is a partner at the same law firm as Kasowitz, was his top pick for the job. Lieberman is no longer the leading candidate for the position, CNN reported Wednesday.
The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for confirmation of Kasowitz’s hiring.