Departure of Cobb and Hiring of Flood Signals More Adversarial Approach

ImageEmmet T. Flood left in 2007 when he was a White House lawyer for President George W

The White House announced on Wednesday it will be hiring veteran Washington lawyer Emmet Flood, who advised ex-President Bill Clinton during Clinton's impeachment process, for the legal team in charge of dealing with Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

Emmet Flood, a leading Washington litigator best known for representing President Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings, will be taking over for Cobb, according to the Times' report.

The White House confirmed Wednesday that Ty Cobb is leaving President Donald Trump's legal team.

CNN's Jim Sciutto, filling in for Jake Tapper on "The Lead", asked Toobin if Trump would entertain the idea of firing Mueller again now that many of his attorneys have left, including Cobb and the president's former personal counsel Jim Dowd, who resigned in March. "Ty Cobb, a friend of the President, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month".

Prior to hiring Flood, Trump brought former prosecutor and New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani into his team.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Cobb had been discussing the decision for weeks and would retire at the end of May and that Flood would be joining the White House staff to "represent the president and the administration against the Russian Federation witch hunt".

Dowd told the AP that, in a compromise move, Mueller provided Trump's legal team with a list of questions and subjects the special counsel was likely to ask Trump in an interview.

Mueller has been seeking an interview with the president - warning Trump's lawyers in March that he could subpoena him if Trump declines, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

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Toensing said Wednesday the shake-up of Trump's legal team is just due to the investigation changing over time.

Two sources told CNN that Cobb was uncomfortable with Trump's tweets against Mueller, with one source describing a "rancid" atmosphere between Mueller and the White House. "I think cooperation was the path". Trump tweeted. "At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!" Earlier Wednesday, the President suggested that questions by Mueller's team about whether he obstructed justice amount to a "setup & trap".

"To remind him that this will not be that kind of interview", he explained. It has also represented senior White House officials, including presidents. "And it's not abnormal that you would have people come and go". Cobb had led the White House's efforts to produce documents in response to requests from Mueller.

"You had the discovery phase, and now you're entering the litigation phase", said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Neither side wants a subpoena fight over an interview.

Giuliani, the new point person on Trump's private legal team, told The Washington Post that the president did not force out Cobb but that Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, "had the most to do with it".

Many of Trump's supporters have long wished he would quit commenting on his legal situation - because he often seems to dig himself in deeper. Mueller's willingness to obtain a subpoena could also be a bargaining chip as he tries to get the President to voluntarily sit down with him.

Mr. Cobb had been one of the Trump lawyers pushing the president to cooperate with Mueller, amid an internal debate over whether or not the US President should agree to be interviewed by the special counsel.

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