Trump's head lawyer in the Russia probe is quitting

“I love this president and wish him very well,” John Dowd told NBC on Thursday.

President Trump’s lead lawyer in the special counsel’s investigation of his campaign’s ties to Russia is quitting, the lawyer told NBC on Thursday.

John Dowd joined the president’s legal team in June 2017, but he and Trump have frequently disagreed, most significantly about whether Trump should agree to an in-person interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to the New York Times. Two people briefed on the matter told the Times that Dowd has already resigned.


“I love this president and wish him very well,” Dowd told NBC on Thursday.

Dowd is a Washington, D.C., lawyer with a long history of representing politicians in federal investigations. Some questioned his strategy on the Russia special counsel investigation when he drafted a tweet for the president in December 2017 insinuating that Trump knew that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when he fired Flynn, potentially complicating Trump’s defense.

Speaking on behalf of the president Saturday, Dowd called for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end the special counsel’s investigation. He later walked that back and said he was speaking in a personal capacity.

Dowd’s departure is the latest in a series of shake-ups for Trump’s legal team. Trump added a former U.S. Attorney, Joseph diGenova, to his team on Monday. The president has reportedly been talking to Emmet Flood, who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process, about coming on board as well.

It’s not immediately clear who will take over as head of Trump’s legal team in the matter.

Cover image: Attorney John Dowd walks in New York on April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)