John Dowd, Trump's lead lawyer for the federal special counsel investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election stepped down on Thursday, the New York Times newspaper reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
"I love the President and wish him well," John Dowd said in a statement to CNN.
According to media reports, it is not clear who will take over for Dowd as the lead attorney, but earlier this week Trump hired a new lawyer for his team, Joseph diGenova.
The resignation comes days after Dowd expressed hope that Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will stop the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia, stance shortly after echoed by Trump, who insisted that the investigation “based on fraudulent activities” “should never have been started.”
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Trump's public lash-out at Mueller, who is leading a probe into alleged collusion with Russia, is believed to be a sign that the president is going to confront the investigation more directly, the strategy not welcomed by his attorney Dowd.
A similar investigation was conducted by the intelligence committees both in US Senate and the US House of Representatives and practically ended earlier in March, after the chair of the US House Intelligence Committee, had announced that Republicans reached a consensus that there was no collusion between Trump and Russian nationals or the Russian government.