2 lawyers not joining Trump legal team after all

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2018

The New York Times reported on Sunday that lawyers Joe diGenova, who is known for his aggressive style and was supposed to replace Trump's top attorney, and diGenova's wife, Victoria Toensing, would not be joining the legal team because of unspecified "conflicts".

"However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters", Sekulow continued.

The president's comments were reminiscent of his remarks earlier this month in response to claims of staff unhappiness that "everybody wants to work in the White House".

A lawyer who President Donald Trump said last week would come on board to help handle his response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller III's Russian Federation investigation will no longer be joining the legal team. Toensing already was representing other clients involved in Russian Federation investigations, including the president's former campaign aide Sam Clovis and Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump's legal team. Dowd reportedly disagreed with the president as to whether or not Trump should sit down with Mueller for an interview.

The upheaval on the legal team comes at a critical time for Mr. Trump.

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The announcement about diGenova and Toensing came just after Trump, in tweets Sunday morning from his Mar-a-Lago estate, dismissed reports about the travails of his legal team as "fake news".

In a statement, diGenova and Toensing said, "We thank the president for his confidence in us and we look forward to working with him on other matters".

FILE - President Donald Trump holds a photo of the border area as he reviews border wall prototypes, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. Their firm has represented Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign official, and Mark Corrallo, who was a spokesman for Trump's legal team.

Mueller is believed to particularly want to question Trump about his knowledge of a mid-2016 meeting his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., set up at Trump Tower in NY, with a Russian attorney on the premise that she was going to hand the Trump campaign incriminating information about Clinton, as well as Trump's role while president in helping draft a misleading statement about the meeting. According to two people told of details about the meeting, the president did not believe he had personal chemistry with Mr. diGenova and Ms. Toensing.

The Washington Post suggested this past week that Trump was having difficulty finding top-quality attorneys to represent him in the case, citing multiple advisers to the president familiar with the negotiations. The decision to hire diGenova, who Trump has seen on TV and liked, was done hastily and with little consultation, said a person familiar with the matter, and questions about diGenova's firm's conflicts arose immediately.

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