Trump hires Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia investigation: source

© Reuters. Trump hires Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia investigation: source

By Julia Edwards Ainsley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has hired a longtime legal adviser to act as his private attorney while a special counsel investigates whether his campaign worked with Russia in last year’s election, a familiar source told Reuters on Tuesday. with the decision.

Fox Business News and ABC first reported that Trump hired Marc Kasowitz, a New York-based trial attorney known as a tenacious litigator, to represent him in a Justice Department investigation led by the former head of the Federal Office of Justice. Research, Robert Mueller.

The appointment of a private attorney may indicate that Trump is seriously considering the impact the federal investigation could have on him personally and that he may wish to protect himself if other members of his administration turn against him.

The source said Kasowitz is expected to bring in other attorneys to work as a team to protect Trump.

Other candidates for the position, including Brendan Sullivan and Robert Giuffra, withdrew their names from consideration, the source said.

“He can be aggressive, he sure has that,” said John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, who has worked with and alongside Kasowitz. “He can also be silky smooth, respectful and deferential.”

Kasowitz and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Kasowitz has represented Trump for more than 15 years, but is not known as a criminal defense attorney. During last year’s presidential campaign, Kasowitz threatened to sue the New York Times if it did not retract a story about women who accused Trump of touching them inappropriately. The Times did not back down from the story.

He also assisted in the defense of fraud claims against Trump University, a series of real estate seminars. After the election, Trump settled the claims for $ 25 million.

Trump has turned to Kasowitz’s signature for positions in his administration. He has described former Senator Joseph Lieberman, a senior attorney at the firm, as one of the top candidates to serve as director of the FBI and is considering Edward McNally, a white-collar defense attorney at the firm, as the next US attorney in Manhattan. . A former partner of the firm, David Friedman, was chosen by Trump as the US ambassador to Israel.

Kasowitz also represents OJSC Sberbank of Russia, the country’s largest bank, which is being charged in a US federal court with conspiring with granite company executives and others to assault a competitor’s assets.

The outside counsel would be separate from the White House Attorney’s Office, led by Donald McGahn.

Mueller was appointed a special counsel by the Justice Department last week to investigate possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Various Congressional committees and the FBI are also investigating the matter.

US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to influence the November vote in favor of Trump. Russia has denied its involvement and Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Controversy has gripped Trump since he fired FBI Director James Comey two weeks ago when Comey was overseeing an investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia.

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