May 2, 2018

Trump hires Clinton impeachment lawyer Emmet Flood

Emmet Flood

White House Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (R) consults with White House Special Counsel Emmet Flood (L) August 2, 2007. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The New York Times reports that a former Clinton impeachment lawyer, Emmet Flood, will replace Ty Cobb as White House counsel upon his retirement.

The details: "Mr. Flood is expected to take a more adversarial approach to the investigation than Mr. Cobb, who had pushed Mr. Trump to strike a cooperative tone. Mr. Flood initially spoke with the White House last summer about working for the president," per the Times.

What they're saying: The White House released a statement on Cobb's departure explaining, “[f]or several weeks Ty Cobb has been discussing his retirement and last week he let Chief of Staff Kelly know he would retire at the end of this month.”

The intrigue: Special counsel Robert Mueller recently provided President Trump’s lawyers with a list of dozens of questions on various issues he wants to ask Trump if given the opportunity to interview him as part of his Russia investigation. He also recently added confidant Rudy Giuliani to his legal team following the resignation of Trump's lead lawyer, John Dowd, in March.

  • The Times adds, "The president’s legal team for the special counsel investigation has been marked by turnover and uncertain strategy, complicated by a client liable to dismiss his lawyers’ advice." Likely a factor that prompted Dowd's resignation.

His background: Flood was on Clinton's legal team during his impeachment proceedings, adds the Times. Adding to his resume, Flood was the lead lawyer for the White House during former President George W. Bush's defense in dealing with congressional investigations. He has also privately represented former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Ty Cobb told Fox News' Major Garrett, "[p]eople will think this means we’re going to war but I would not read that into this. This is good for me. I have postponed many orthopedic procedures and basically been living in an attic ... The key point is all the documents requested by the Special Counsel were produced by late October. All the interviews with White House personnel were conducted by late January. The bulk of the work was done.”

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