After being rebuffed by many of his top choices, President Donald Trump is turning to a Beltway outsider to take on more responsibility within his defense team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Andrew Ekonomou, who has been assisting head lawyer Jay Sekulow since June, will now occupy a lead role in the void left by John Dowd’s departure, Reuters reported late Tuesday.
Ekonomou is contracted as an assistant district attorney in Brunswick, Georgia, and told Reuters that he “prosecutes a lot of murders for the D.A.,” though he has never been involved in such a prominent or far-reaching case as the Mueller investigation
When asked if he has the requisite experience to defend Trump in such an important case, he cited his 40 years of legal experience. “Just because you’re not a Beltway lawyer doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing,” he told Reuters.
This promotion comes after reports on Tuesday that Tom Buchanan and Dan Webb, of the firm Winston & Strawn, had been asked to join the team, but declined. A few days before that, legal team Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing also decided against working for Trump. All four lawyers cited business conflicts.
According to Reuters, Ekonomou is a part of The Lambros Firm LLC in Atlanta and focuses on cases of civil and criminal racketeering for D.A.s in Georgia. Earlier in his career, he also worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office and he went back to get his doctorate in medieval history from Emory University in 2000.