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John Dowd resigns as Trump’s personal lawyer, says he ‘loves’ president

March 22, 2018 GMT

President Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, has resigned as the head of the president’s legal team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“I love the president and wish him well,” Mr. Dowd told The Washington Times Thursday in an email. His resignation was first reported by The New York Times.

Mr. Dowd just last weekend had called on Mr. Mueller to wrap up his investigation, then clarified that he was not speaking for the president.

The president’s legal team has been negotiating with the special counsel on whether the president will testify under oath in the probe. Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday that he still wants to talk to investigators.

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“Yes, I would like to,” the president said.

Mr. Dowd had been counseling the president that the special counsel’s investigation could be completed by the end of last year. But the probe shows no signs of ending, and Mr. Mueller has been expanding to other areas of inquiry besides possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The report in the Times said Mr. Dowd felt that the president increasingly was ignoring his legal advice.

In recent days, Mr. Trump has criticized Mr. Mueller by name on Twitter, questioning his probe as a partisan “witch hunt.”

“Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!” the president tweeted last week.

Mr. Trump also said on Twitter recently, “The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

The president’s lead attorney working on the Mueller probe is Ty Cobb.