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Top Trump lawyer for Russia investigation resigns

John Dowd (on the left) along with his former client Galleon Group hedge fund cofounder Raj Rajaratnam in 2011. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

John Dowd, the lead lawyer for President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation, has resigned. Just five days ago, Dowd had called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Russia investigation.

On March 17, Dowd told CNN:

"I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier.”

Dowd made that statement the day after Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Prior to that, Dowd had seemed to take a more cooperative approach to the investigation, telling NBC: “We get along well with Bob Mueller; our communications have been constructive.” Dowd even said that Trump had sent private messages of “appreciation” to Mueller.”

However, Dowd has also voiced his opposition to the idea that the President would agree to be interviewed by Special Council Robert Mueller.

“I love the president and I wish him well,” Dowd told NBC this morning.

“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said after Dowd's resignation. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the President and our cooperation with the Office of Special Counsel.”

Dowd claimed to have authored a tweet from the President in December that read: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

Dowd later backtracked when questioned about the tweet by CNN, saying that while he had authored it, it was incorrect, and that “at the time of the firing no one including Justice had accused Flynn of lying.”

Three days ago, Trump’s legal team added Joseph diGenova, a former federal prosecutor. DiGenova has said that the Russia investigation is “an attempt to frame an incoming president with a false Russia conspiracy.” It is not clear at this point whether or not the arrival of diGenova factored into Dowd’s resignation.

Dowd took charge of the legal team after Trump’s chief private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, was fired in July of 2017

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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