'Conflicts' Officially Prevent Trump's New Legal Team from Joining Defense

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The New York Times reported on Thursday, citing sources that John Dowd, Trump's lead lawyer in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and alleged links between Trump aides and Moscow, stepped down due to disagreement with the USA president's aggressive approach toward the probe.

Sekulow said Sunday that diGenova will not be joining the legal team after all.

Several investigations into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 United States presidential election have been launched since Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election.

Jay Sekulow, one of Trump's lawyers, said in a statement that the president was "disappointed" by the development, but that the conflicts "do not prevent" the two from assisting "in other legal matters".

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".

The announcement last week that diGenova was joining the legal team raised questions about Trump's strategy, given his choice of a former USA attorney for the District of Columbia who also is a Fox News personality and has railed against the FBI and the Mueller investigation.

Last week, Trump's attorneys provided documents to Mueller on the Russian Federation matter with the aim of avoiding having the president personally interviewed as part of that investigation, The Post reported.

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

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President Trump once again on Sunday insisted there was "no collusion".

Victoria Toensing, who is married to Mr diGenova, was also expected to join.

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

Added Trump: "I am very happy with my existing" attorney team.

Toensing also represents former Trump campaign national co-chair Sam Clovis, who has faced scrutiny for his connection to campaign foreign policy team member George Papadopoulos, two sources said. That meeting was attended by Trump's son, Donald Jr.

On Twitter, Trump said, "Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russian Federation case. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted", Trump said on Twitter.

Major firms such as Williams & Connolly and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher turned him down in the a year ago, citing conflicts, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

At the last minute Friday, the president threatened to veto the spending bill but then signed it into law. Dowd had touted the cooperation of the White House and Trump campaign with Mueller.

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