John Dowd, an attorney on President Donald Trump’s outside legal team handling the Russia investigation, resigned on Thursday, according to reports from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NBC News.
Dowd had been considering leaving Trump’s legal team for a while and ultimately decided to resign because the President was ignoring his advice, a person briefed on the matter told the New York Times. Dowd was also frustrated by Trump’s decision to bring Joseph diGenova onto the legal team and felt the move meant he was sidelined, the Washington Post reported earlier this week.
The Washington Post described Dowd’s departure as a “mutual decision” made when Trump lost confidence in Dowd’s strategy and Dowd became frustrated with changes on the legal team. Dowd felt that it was a bad idea for Trump to sit for an in-person interview with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, while Trump pushed for his ability to do so, as the New York Times noted. Dowd and Trump clashed on legal strategy in recent weeks, according to the Washington Post, though the paper did not specify the disagreement.
It’s not clear who will lead the legal team, which now consists of Jay Sekulow, the team’s spokesman, and diGenova.
Dowd’s resignation closely followed his statement on Saturday calling for Mueller to step down. He first said he was speaking on behalf of the president, only to walk it back and say that he was speaking only for himself.
Trump has also told associates that he is considering firing Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer in charge of the Russia investigation, the New York Times reported earlier in the week. The President has told Cobb that he is safe, however, per the Times.