WASHINGTON — A lawyer who President Donald Trump said last week would come on board to help handle his response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s Russia investigation will no longer be joining the legal team.
The lawyer, Joseph diGenova, has often vehemently defended the president on Fox News and cast the Mueller probe as a conspiracy against him. Trump enjoyed the TV appearances and wanted diGenova on his team even though he did not know him, officials say.
But in a statement Sunday, a spokesman for Trump’s legal team said both diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, who is also a lawyer, would not be working on the Russia probe.
“The president is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining his Special Counsel legal team,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to Trump. “However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters. The president looks forward to working with them.”
Trump met with diGenova in person on Thursday after his hire was announced. Three days later, diGenova’s hiring has unraveled.
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