Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer overseeing its response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, is resigning, Cobb told the New York Times Wednesday. He is being replaced by Emmet Flood, the White House and Flood’s law firm William & Connolly confirmed.
Cobb said he informed President Trump weeks ago that he was seeking to retire.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in this capacity at the White House,” Cobb told the Times. “I wish everybody well moving forward.”
Cobb said he would serve through the month to help his replacement transition into the role.
“Emmet Flood will be joining the White House Staff to represent the President and the administration against the Russia witch hunt,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “Ty Cobb, a friend of the President, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month.”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is serving as a personal lawyer for Trump, told the Washington Post that Flood was hired out of a desire “for someone was more aggressive.”
“That’s not a criticism of Ty, but it’s just about how we’re going to do this,” Giuliani said.
Cobb also told CBS News that the “bulk of the work was done,” so it was “easier for me to leave now.”
— Katie Watson (@kathrynw5) May 2, 2018
During his tenure in the Trump White House, Cobb became known for his optimistic timeline for when thought the Mueller probe would wrap up, predicting last year that it would be done before Thanksgiving, and then shortly after Thanksgiving, and then by the new year.
Cobb had a reputation for advocating a cooperative approach to dealing with Mueller’s probe. Just Wednesday, he had given an interview with ABC News indicating that Trump’s legal team — which include the President’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani — was still working with Mueller on finding an agreement about a Trump interview with the Special Counsel. Earlier this week the New York Times published a list of topics Mueller’s investigators signaled to Trump’s attorneys at a March meeting that they’d like to ask the President about, and the Washington Post reported that Mueller had also floated the possibility that he’d subpoena Trump if they did not come to an agreement.
President Trump has tweeted repeatedly this week to bash Mueller’s “witch hunt.” It is believed that Flood will bring a more aggressive perspective on dealing with the special counsel investigation.
Flood had been in talks about joining Trump’s legal team last summer, according to the Times, but was resistant to working with Trump lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz, who has since stepped down from representing the President.