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President Trump's Lawyer Ty Cobb Steps Down

President Trump's Lawyer Ty Cobb Steps Down

In a move emblematic of his increasingly confrontational approach to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, President Donald Trump is once again shaking up his legal team.

But the White House dropped another bombshell Wednesday with the announcement of an "early retirement" of White House attorney Ty Cobb.

Shortly before the news of his departure broke, Cobb spoke with ABC News and said Trump sitting for an interview with Mueller is "not off the table".

The replacement of Cobb with Flood may usher in a more adversarial stance toward the Mueller team as Trump's lawyers debate whether to make the president available for an interview with the special counsel and brace for the prospect of a grand jury subpoena if they refuse.

The door to the offices of Donald Trump's legal team swung open once again and Ty Cobb flew out and Emmet Flood - a veteran of the Bill Clinton impeachment wars - stepped in.

He was a favorite of White House Counsel Donald McGahn, a longtime Flood friend, but he initially declined the post after clashing with Marc Kasowitz, the combative NY lawyer who at the time served as Trump's chief personal lawyer.

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Cobb was part of the round two team - that took over in the summer of 2017 when the president and his closest advisors realized a need to add some lawyers with inside Washington knowledge to the team. He served as special counsel in President George W. Bush's administration and represented President Bill Clinton during House proceedings to impeach him. "If it [the interview] happens, that's not going to happen, I'll tell you that". Cobb was also in charge of collecting all documents the Special Counsel had requested and turning them over to that team.

Cobb's departure is the latest shake-up of Trump's legal team and comes as his attorneys face increasing pressure to determine whether the president should agree to sit down for an interview with Mueller. Dr. Harold Bornstein's admission that he did not write the note describing Trump as "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency" came Tuesday to CNN.

Trump has since appeared increasingly frustrated with the investigation. Now, the White House is anticipating a possible legal showdown over a presidential interview. Giuliani joined Trump's legal team after John Dowd quit following disagreements with the president.

Cobb has reportedly been discussing retirement for weeks.

Dowd, who had been leading the response to Mueller's investigation, abruptly resigned in March because of reported disputes over the team's strategy for responding to Mueller's probe.

Belying their concerns, Trump and Republicans in Congress have threatened to remove Mueller and other senior Justice officials, a move that top members of Congress have also warned could result in Trump's impeachment. Some of them have asked for an unredacted version of a Justice Department document that sets out the scope for Mueller's probe, a request that the department immediately denied because it pertains to an ongoing investigation. "You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States".