Conflicts Prevent diGenova From Joining Trump's Legal Team

Robert Mueller

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Trump insisted in a series of tweets that he was having no difficulty finding lawyers to represent him.

"Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted", Trump said, adding that a new legal team would take months to get up to speed, costing more in legal fees.

"The President looks forward to working with them", he added.

The announcement follows the resignation of John Dowd as Trump's lead lawyer Thursday. Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller III and his investigators have intensified their focus on Trump's actions. Dowd thought it would be best for the president to avoid such a meeting, but the president is increasingly interested in engaging with Mueller.

Dowd quit days after Trump directly attacked former FBI chief Robert Mueller's sprawling Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt", raising fresh questions about whether the president was interfering with the probe.

President Trump said on Twitter on that he is "happy with my existing team".

Trump tweeted that reports of lawyers not wanting to represent him are "Fake News."

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"Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russian Federation case...don't believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on", said Trump on Twitter.

"There was NO COLLUSION with Russia" by Republicans, Trump said.

While Sekulow still works for Trump, he is best known as an advocate for conservative religious causes, not as a defense attorney. Ty Cobb remains the in-house White House lawyer handling issues related the presidency. DiGenova, who provided the statement to The Associated Press, declined to answer additional questions about the nature of his and Toensing's representation of the president.

Jay Sekulow, one of Trump's attorneys, told CNN on Tuesday the legal team would "not comment about conversations with lawyers with whom we have or have not had conversations".

Toensing, who is married to DiGenova, is representing Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for Trump's legal team.

The move clears the path to begin preparations should an interview occur, people familiar with the matter said.

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. Dowd had touted the cooperation of the White House and Trump campaign with Mueller.

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