The White House announced today that President Trump will not hire Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing as counsel due to conflicts of interest. The announcement of diGenova’s selection led to a chorus of objections from his being a “television lawyer” to a conspiracy theorists. I recently wrote a column that noted that diGenova was the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and considered one of the most experienced lawyers in the city. However, there was reportedly opposition in the White House including reportedly from John Dowd who resigned around the same time. Dowd has not spoken publicly to confirm or deny that reported position.
Jay Sekulow (who reportedly favored diGenova’s addition to the team) announced on Sunday morning that “The president is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining the president’s special counsel legal team. However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters. The president looks forward to working with them.”
The only conflict that has been reported involves Toensing who is representing Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for Mr. Trump’s legal team in 2017. There are reports that Corallo may have given statements inimical to the position of aides like Hope Hicks on obstruction allegations.
Trump in the meantime is tweeting from Florida and denied that he was having trouble enlisting new legal talent. He denounced such stories as a “Fake News narrative.” He stated “Fame & fortune will never be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted.” He assured his followers that “many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case” and that reports of flux on his team were a “Fake News narrative.”