Giuliani resigns from law firm due to 'pressing demands' of Mueller probe

Rudy Giuliani is leaving his job at a powerhouse law firm, citing the "pressing demands" of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election. 

Giuliani took a temporary leave of absence from the firm Greenberg Traurig when he joined President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE's legal team last month. But in a statement on Thursday, the former New York City mayor said he intended to permanently resign from the firm.

"In light of the pressing demands of the Mueller investigation, I believe it is in everyone's best interest that I make it a permanent resignation," Giuliani said. "This way, my sole concentration can be on this critically important matter for our country."

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"I have had a wonderful experience at the firm and I wish the firm and its Executive Chairman, Richard Rosenbaum, all the very best, now and in the future. I will always treasure the personal friendships I have made with everyone at Greenberg Traurig."

Rosenbaum, the firm's executive chairman, said Giuliani's resignation went into effect on Wednesday. 

"I have a great deal of respect for the Mayor's incredible career and what he has done for New York City and our country for many years and consider him a friend," Rosenbaum said in a statement.

Giuliani was hired to the team of lawyers helping Trump navigate Mueller's investigation last month, saying at the time that he hoped to negotiate a swift end to the probe. 

His resignation from Greenberg Traurig signals that Giuliani may anticipate a more prolonged engagement with Mueller's investigation than previously thought. 

Giuliani has stirred controversy since joining Trump's legal team. He revealed in a Fox News interview earlier this month that the president had reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels is suing to void a nondisclosure agreement barring her from speaking publicly about an alleged affair she had with Trump. Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels weeks before the 2016 presidential election. 

Giuliani's comments on Fox News contradicted Trump's previous claim that he was unaware of the payment to Daniels and did not know where the money came from. After Giuliani revealed the reimbursement, Trump confirmed that he paid Cohen back through a monthly retainer, but insisted that Daniels's allegations were false.