Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is joining President Trump’s legal team handling the special-counsel probe, reportedly to “negotiate an end” to the probe, as are two other attorneys who specialize in challenging search warrants. Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, confirmed the three additions to the legal team Thursday afternoon.”I am announcing today that former New York City Mayor and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Rudy Giuliani is joining the President’s personal legal team,” Mr. Sekulow said in a statement, adding that he had had “the privilege of working with Mayor Giuliani for many years, and we welcome his expertise.”
Mr. Giuliani will be involved in handling matters related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between Russia and Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview with the Washington Post.
Mr. Trump had expressed hope the previous day at a news conference that the Mueller probe would soon end in virtually identical terms — “we are hopefully coming to the end,” he said. “It is a bad thing for our country — very, very bad thing for our country.”
He was enthusiastic about the Giuliani hire Thursday, according to Mr. Sekulow’s statement, saying “Rudy is great. He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”
Mr. Giuliani is a longtime Trump supporter and was one of the first high-profile Republicans to back Mr. Trump for president. He expressed his “deep appreciation” to the president for allowing him to assist “in this important matter.”
“It is an honor to be a part of such an important legal team, and I look forward to not only working with the president but with Jay, Ty, and their colleagues,” Mr. Giuliani said.
The move caused Mr. Giuliani to take a leave of absence from the law firm Greenberg Traurig.
“Mr. Giuliani is taking a leave of absence, effective today, for an unspecified period of time to handle matters unrelated to the law firm or its clients,” said Richard Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig, in a statement.
Mr. Sekulow also said that former federal prosecutors Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin have joined the president’s legal team. He called them “highly respected former federal prosecutors with decades of experience.”
“They have a nationwide practice and reputation for excellence and integrity,” he said.
According to their firm’s website, one of the Raskins’ specialties is challenging prosecutors’ use of search warrants and their possible violations of attorney-client privilege — matters that have come up in Mr. Mueller’s investigation, most particularly a raid last week on the offices and home of Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime personal attorney.
“The government is making increased use of search warrants – rather than grand jury or investigative subpoenas – to obtain records in white collar criminal investigations. This gives the government the advantage of deciding unilaterally which materials it deems relevant to an ongoing investigation and may result in the seizure of materials plainly subject to attorney client and other privileges,” the site says.
“Raskin & Raskin’s attorneys have significant experience responding to searches in progress, negotiating with agents and prosecutors to limit prejudice to their clients, and seeking prompt redress in the courts for searches that imperil constitutional and statutory privileges,” the firm claims.
The Trump legal team’s lead attorney, John Dowd, resigned last month, reportedly in a dispute over tactics.
At Wednesday’s press conference, the president also downplayed the possibility of firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or Mr. Mueller, when asked by a reporter.
“As far as the two gentlemen [Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Mueller]… they’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months,” Mr. Trump said. “And they’re still here. So we want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us.”
Mr. Trump noted that his legal team has turned over “tremendous amounts of paper” to Mr. Mueller’s investigators.
“As far as the investigation, nobody has ever been more transparent than I have instructed our lawyers,” the president said. “I believe we’ve given them 1.4 million pages of documents, if you can believe this. And haven’t used — that I know of, or for the most part — presidential powers or privilege.”
He reiterated his belief that the probe was the result of “a hoax created largely by the Democrats as a way of softening the blow of a loss [by Hillary Clinton in 2016], which is a loss that, frankly, they shouldn’t have had from the standpoint that it’s very easy for them.”
• Victor Morton contributed to this report.
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