John Dowd, the lead lawyer for Donald Trump’s team of attorneys regarding the special counsel investigation, has resigned after Trump continually ignored Dowd’s legal advice, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice, one of the people said.
Under Mr. Dowd’s leadership, Mr. Trump’s lawyers had advised him to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russia’s election interference and possible ties to Trump associates as well as whether the president obstructed the inquiry.
The president has instead in recent days begun publicly assailing Mr. Mueller, a shift in tone that appears to be born of the president’s concern that the investigation is bearing down on him more directly. He has also privately insisted he should sit for an interview with the special counsel’s office, even though Mr. Dowd believed it was a bad idea.
Mr. Dowd’s departure marks the most prominent shake-up for the president’s legal team since he took over from the president’s longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz.
Less than two weeks ago Trump tweeted there would be no changes to his legal team:
The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018
#BREAKING: John Dowd, Trump’s top lawyer, is resigning. (When your lawyer fires himself, you know you’re in deep do-do) pic.twitter.com/6ihiUmZyn3
— Michael Wilde (@WestgarthEnt) March 22, 2018