Outgoing lawyer says Trump approved statement calling for end to Mueller probe

An outgoing lawyer for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's personal legal team said that Trump approved of a statement he gave calling for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation into Russian election meddling to be shut down, The Wall Street Journal reports.

John Dowd, who resigned Thursday, issued a statement last weekend calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE to “bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation.”

“[Trump] thought it was a good statement. And I still do,” Dowd told the Journal on Thursday.


Dowd had initially told The Daily Beast, which first reported his statement, that he was making the comments in his capacity as Trump’s counsel. In a later statement provided to The Hill and other outlets, Dowd clarified that he was speaking in a personal capacity. 

Hours after Dowd’s statement, Trump took to Twitter to echo his lawyer's sentiment blasting the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

Dowd's resignation on Thursday comes as the president seeks to shake up his legal team amid frustrations within the White House over Mueller’s probe.

This week, Trump added Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who has been highly critical of the FBI and Department of Justice, to his outside legal team.

With Dowd gone, Trump’s outside legal team handling the Russia matter will be led, at least in the interim, by diGenova and Jay Sekulow.

Trump indicated Thursday he would be willing to testify in the Mueller probe, something that Dowd reportedly advised the president against.