John Dowd Resigns From Trump Legal Team

(CN) – John Dowd, one of Donald Trump’s top personal lawyers, stepped down Thursday from the president’s legal team just days after calling for an immediate end to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“John Dowd has been a valuable member of our legal team and we will continue our ongoing cooperation with the office of special counsel regarding this inquiry,” Jay Sekulow, another member of the Trump legal team, said in a statement released to several media outlets.

According to the New York Times, Dowd had been on the fence about staying with the president’s legal team, but grew increasingly frustrated as the president repeatedly disregarded his legal advice.

The Times’ based its reporting on unnamed sources said to be familiar with the situation.

The move comes several days after Trump added a new lawyer to his team — former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But a short time later, President Donald Trump told reporters he “would like to” testify before Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Dowd’s resignation comes as the House Intelligence Committee voted down party lines Thursday to release its classified report on Russian interference. Due to the document’s sensitivity, it will not be available to the public until it has been declassified.

The report is hotly contested by Democrats who contend committee Republicans merely wished to veil President Trump from further controversy. A companion report by Democrats is currently being prepared.

Minority committee members will have until March 26 to complete their report but like the Republican assessment, it too must be declassified.

Review of the Republican’s 250-page report will likely conclude in two weeks.

The report is based on testimony from more than 70 witnesses and with data collected from more than 300,000 documents, according to Rep. Devin Nunes.

The representative also told reporters Thursday it would show the “comprehensive results” of the committee’s investigation and would “be useful in thwarting any attempts by Russia or other foreign powers to meddle in U.S. elections.

At the start of Thursday’s meeting, Rep. Adam Schiff rejected the notion, saying the majority’s decision would “hobble” the investigation.

The story is developing …

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