Joseph diGenova will no longer join Trump's legal team handling Russian Federation probe

John Dowd

Attorneys Joe diGenova and and his wife Victoria Toensing won't be joining President Donald Trump's legal team in the Russian Federation investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, current lawyer Jay Sekulow announced.

Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova and his attorney wife, Victoria Toensing, will not be coming aboard, despite an announcement last week to that effect, according to the president's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow. He said the conflicts would not prevent them from assisting Trump "on other legal matters".

The announcement last week that diGenova was joining the legal team raised questions about Trump's strategy, given his choice of a former USA attorney for the District of Columbia who also is a Fox News personality and has railed against the FBI and the Mueller investigation.

Mnuchin also defended Trump's decision to announce $50 billion in tariffs on China last week - a move that sent stocks tumbling, and prompted China to announce its own set of sanctions on American products such as pork and steel.

Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego.

His top attorney, John Dowd, resigned Thursday morning after a series of strategy disputes with the president.

DiGenova told Fox News in January that he believes there is "a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn't win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime". Toensing has also represented former Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis and Erik Prince, who founded the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater USA and served as an adviser to Trump.

FILE - Special Counsel Robert Mueller (R) departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 21, 2017.

The news about the canceled legal appointments came as White House officials were girding themselves for an interview on Sunday evening on the CBS program "60 Minutes" with the porn star known as Stormy Daniels.

This is at least the second major reshuffling of Trump's legal team in the a year ago. "Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted", the president wrote, without mentioning diGenova or Toensing by name.

Trump representatives have reached out to some of those firms again more recently, sources said.

On ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy said the president told him on Saturday that he is "perplexed" by reports of chaos at the White House.



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