The news that diGenova—who has gone on television and claimed the FBI is conspiring against the president—was joining the team came as Trump went of a string of tweets Sunday declaring that he had numerous lawyers who wanted to represent him.
Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case…don’t believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted. Problem is that a new……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018
….lawyer or law firm will take months to get up to speed (if for no other reason than they can bill more), which is unfair to our great country – and I am very happy with my existing team. Besides, there was NO COLLUSION with Russia, except by Crooked Hillary and the Dems!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018
The president’s tweets disputed a Washington Post report that claimed the president has been unable to find quality representation.
A number of white-collar attorneys in Washington said the president has been unable to attract top-flight talent as he looks to overhaul his legal team, with major firms fearful that an affiliation with Trump and the Russia case could impact their ability to attract other clients and hire new lawyers.
DiGenova almost instantly came under fire when his hiring was announced, as it was revealed he’d been a guest on Fox News, touting the conservative theory that the highest levels of government worked to undermine Trump.
In a statement, another one of Trump’s lawyers said diGenova’s departure was related to a conflict of interest.
“The President is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining his Special Counsel legal team,” Jay Sekulow said. “However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the President in other legal matters. The President looks forward to working with them.”
The news of diGenova’s departure from the team comes just days after John Dowd resigned from the team, leaving the president without a typical criminal defense lawyer as an interview with Mueller looms.