The White House announced on Wednesday that President Donald Trump replace his White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, with famous Washington lawyer Emmet T. Flood. Flood represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said:
“Emmet Flood will be joining the White House Staff to represent the President and the administration against the Russia witch hunt.”
She added that “Ty Cobb, a friend of the President, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month.”
“It has been an honor to serve the country in this capacity at the White House,” Cobb said in an interview with the New York Times. “I wish everybody well moving forward.”
What's the story?
Cobb told the Times that he had informed the president that he wanted to retire weeks ago. He will stay on until at least the end of the month to ease the transition.
While on Trump's legal team, Cobb purportedly has tried to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, handing over documents and working to convince Trump not to fire Mueller, in what he referred to as “full cooperation mode.” When Cobb took this approach, he was afraid that Mueller was about to slap Trump associates with subpoenas.
Cobb, who supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 presidential primary, allegedly told friends that he planned to stay on only until all the relevant information was handed over to Mueller.
Cobb also previously denied that Trump was planning to fire Mueller. In October, he said, “There is not and will not be any consideration of terminating the special counsel, Bob Mueller. ... I think the path that he chose of trying to minimize conflict and maximize cooperation is one that benefits the country.”
It is anticipated that Flood will take a much more antagonistic stance toward Mueller.
In March, the Times reported that Trump was considering hiring Flood. After that article was published, Trump lashed out on Twitter against “The Failing New York Times” for “purposely” writing “a false story.”
The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia… https://t.co/LPBOjSP2LR— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1520775664.0
...have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia..just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was… https://t.co/ya2CwP1iUd— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1520776247.0
Who is Emmet T. Flood?
Flood represented Bill Clinton during the former president's impeachment hearings back in the late '90s. In addition to Clinton, he also represented George W. Bush when he was facing a congressional investigation for dismissing seven U.S. attorneys, and former Vice President Dick Cheney as a private lawyer.
Flood was in talks to join Trump's team last summer but withdrew due to issues he had with the team's then-leader Marc E. Kasowitz.