John Dowd resigns as Trump's lawyer amid strategy disagreements

By Susan McFarland  |  March 22, 2018 at 1:23 PM
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March 22 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's personal attorney handling the Russian meddling investigation unexpectedly resigned Thursday.

John Dowd is stepping down after disagreements with the president on key elements surrounding the Russia probe, including whether Trump should sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I love the president and I wish him well," Dowd said in a statement.

Over the weekend, Dowd said Mueller's Russia investigation should end. He, at first, claimed he was speaking for Trump, but later said he was only speaking for himself.

Dowd has faced criticism over how he handled the response to the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, after he sent a tweet suggesting Trump knew Flynn lied to the FBI in January. The tweet raised questions about whether the president committed obstruction of justice when he allegedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

It wasn't immediately clear who will succeed Dowd as Trump's top personal attorney. Earlier this week, Trump added to his team another veteran Washington, D.C., attorney, Joseph DiGenova, who has said FBI and Justice Department officials "framed" Trump.

This month, House intelligence committee Republicans ended their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying there was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

Lawmakers also recommended new steps to crack down on intelligence leaks.

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