Donald Trump hires only the best people. Except in most
cases, such as when he hires a lawyer he’s never met without vetting him for
the most important job in Trump’s life.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow announced on Sunday that Fox News
contributor Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, would no
longer be next up to defend the president in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s
Russia probe. The Trump administration announced that the two attorneys would
join his legal team just last week.
The news follows the resignation
last Thursday of John Dowd, Trump’s former lead attorney on the Russia
probe. That leaves Trump’s legal team to a
total of two main players: Ty Cobb and Sekulow, The Washington Post noted. According to The New York Times, longtime
Trump attorney Marc E. Kasowitz “remains on the periphery.”
Sekulow’s statement cited “conflicts” that prevented diGenova
and Toensing from joining the team.
“The President is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe
diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining his Special Counsel legal team,”
Sekulow said. “However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the
President in other legal matters. The President looks forward to working with
The Times reported
that Trump “did not believe he had personal chemistry” with diGenova after
meeting with him on Thursday. It seems the president had been interested in
hiring diGenova after the attorney claimed on Fox News that Trump had
been “framed” by the FBI and the Justice Department, according to CNN.
The conflict that was cited, however, involved Mark Corallo,
a former Trump legal team spokesman who
left in July 2017 and is represented by Toensing. Corallo famously got into a Twitter fight with
former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara over Trump’s firing of Bharara and
accusations that the president had committed obstruction of justice in the
Corallo also reportedly told Mueller’s investigators that he
believes that former
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks may have been conspiring to commit
obstruction of justice over the infamous Trump Tower campaign meeting with
Russian operatives and Trump insiders, including the president’s own son and
Trump alluded to the announcement earlier Sunday in a series
of tweets attacking “Fake News” for reporting that no one in Washington seems
to want to take on such a toxic case.
“Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the
Russia case...don’t believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a
lawyer who wants to take this on. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down
by a lawyer, though some are conflicted,” Trump tweeted.
“Problem is that a new......lawyer or law firm will take
months to get up to speed (if for no other reason than they can bill more),
which is unfair to our great country - and I am very happy with my existing
team. Besides, there was NO COLLUSION with Russia, except by Crooked Hillary
and the Dems!
Regardless of Trump’s legal situation in the Russia case, many
speculated the announcement was made in an attempt to distract from the pending
airing on CBS’ 60 Minutes of an interview
with porn star Stormy Daniels. That interview, with Anderson Cooper, is set to
air Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET.