Prominent lawyer declines to represent Trump in Russia probe

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Washington, March 27 (IANS) A prominent Chicago defence attorney has declined an invitation to lead President Donald Trumps in special counsel Robert Muellers ongoing Russia investigation, the media reported.

Dan K. Webb, a Republican, is a former US attorney for Illinois and a corporate and white-collar defence lawyer for the firm Winston and Strawn, reports The Washington Post.

In a statement on Monday, his firm said the President and his team had recently reached out to Webb and D.C.-based partner Tom Buchanan.

“They were unable to take on the representation due to business conflicts. However they consider the opportunity to represent the President to be the highest honour and they sincerely regret that they cannot do so,” the firm said.

“They wish the president the best and believe he has excellent representation in Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow,” referring to the two lawyers now handling Trump’s defence.

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Trump’s legal team has been in crisis mode since last week, after his lawyer John Dowd abruptly resigned on March 22 following strategic disputes with the President and the announcement that Trump was adding Joseph diGenova, an aggressive television personality, to the team, The Washington Post reported.

Trump’s advisers said they also hoped diGenova’s wife, Victoria Toensing, also a lawyer, would join the group of attorneys representing the President.

But on Sunday, Trump reversed course, as Sekulow announced that diGenova and Toensing had conflicts of interest due to current clients and neither would join the team, which is currently without a traditional criminal-defence attorney.

Trump and his allies have been reaching out to several lawyers, including some who had turned him down after he interviewed them last year to be his personal lawyer in Mueller’s investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the President’s campaign coordinated with Russia in this effort.

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Cobb has been handling the probe from the White House Counsel’s Office, formally representing the office of the presidency and not Trump personally.

Sekulow is the lead counsel currently representing Trump.

–IANS

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