President Donald Trump is in talks to add a high-profile Washington lawyer to the White House legal team to help respond to the special counsel’s Russia probe, reported The New York Times and Reuters.
Emmet T. Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings in the late 1990s, met with Trump in the Oval Office last week to discuss the possibility of representing him, the Times first reported Saturday.
It’s unclear if Flood expressed interest in joining the White House after last week’s reported meeting. He passed on an opportunity last summer to represent Trump, according to the Times.
Flood is a partner at the D.C.-based litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP, which represents Hillary Clinton. He previously served in the White House Counsel’s office under President George W. Bush and represented Vice President Dick Cheney in a civil suit brought by former CIA employee Valerie Plame.
White House lawyer Ty Cobb, as well as John Dowd and Jay Sekulow of Trump’s personal legal team, round out the team of attorneys assigned to deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government.
If added to the White House legal team, Flood would be tasked with helping Trump handle Justice Department inquiries. Flood reportedly spoke with Trump about potential White House positions, as well as the possibility of being associate attorney general, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeted Sunday.
Dowd told Reuters on Saturday that he did not know anything about Flood possibly joining the White House legal team. A representative for the White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. Flood declined to comment.
In response to the report, Trump tweeted Sunday that he wasn’t adding another lawyer to “help out” and accused the Times of intentionally writing a “false story.”
Trump claimed the report’s author, Maggie Haberman, knows “nothing” about him. Haberman is a renowned White House correspondent who has interviewed Trump several times.
Several people close to Trump confirmed our story. Trump also met with Emmet Flood in the Oval last week for purpose of potentially hiring him. Our story was confirmed by other outlets.
Trump then tweeted
The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and.....