Trump to hire diGenova, who argued FBI framed president
President Trump is adding a lawyer to his legal team who has endorsed the idea that the Justice Department framed him, according to a report in The New York Times.
Trump plans to hire longtime Washington lawyer Joseph diGenova, the Times wrote, citing three people told of the decision. It said he is unlikely to take a lead role on the team, but that he would add an aggressive presence.
The president is increasingly signaling he intends to go in a different direction with his legal strategy, and this weekend began attacking by name special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump’s lawyers had previously advised him not to attack Mueller.
Adding diGenova suggests Trump wants to go more on the offensive, given diGenova’s past statements arguing investigations of Trump are meritless.
“Make no mistake about it: A group of FBI and DOJ people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime,” said diGenova, who was previously a Republican-appointed United States attorney for the District of Columbia.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that the Mueller probe should “never have been started.”
“There was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary [Clinton] and the [Democratic National Committee], and improperly used in [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!” Trump tweeted.
On Monday, Trump again called the investigation a “witch hunt” and claimed it had “massive conflicts of interest.”
Trump’s lawyer John Dowd over the weekend also called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to shut down Mueller’s Russia probe.