Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is joining the legal team representing President Trump in the Russia investigation.
Jay Sekulow, an attorney on Trump’s team, confirmed the hire and said Giuliani would be accompanied by former federal prosecutors Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin.
“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,” Trump said in a statement provided by Sekulow.
Giuliani joins Sekulow and White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who have been dealing with the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — and whether the president’s campaign was involved.
“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,” Giuliani said in a statement.
The moves bolster Trump’s legal team, which has been shorthanded since the departure of lead attorney John Dowd last month.
The additions come as the Russia probe has moved in on Trump’s inner circle. His longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen was raided by the FBI last week, in part the result of a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who leads the Russia probe.
Trump’s lawyers have also been engaged in negotiations over a possible Trump interview with Mueller.
The president previously expressed a desire to sit for an interview, against the advice of his lawyers, but he was said to have soured on the idea following the Cohen raid.
Trump had struggled to fill out his group of attorneys. Many high-profile defense lawyers have turned down the opportunity to work for the president, who is known to be a difficult client.
The president last month was set to hire the husband-and-wife pairing of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing to represent him in the Russia probe, but eventually reneged after it was revealed they had conflicts.
Trump’s overtures toward diGenova, a fierce critic of Mueller, reportedly was a factor in Dowd’s decision to quit the team.
Giuliani told The Washington Post on Thursday that he finalized the decision in recent days, and wants to help the president “negotiate an end” to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Trump has referred to as a “hoax.”
“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,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani is a former federal prosecutor and a vocal defender of Trump. The president reportedly weighed the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with the former New York mayor last summer, but the move never occurred.
The Raskins, who are married, have a private practice based in Florida. Both are former Justice Department attorneys with backgrounds fighting organized crime and racketeering, among other issues.
—Avery Anapol contributed.
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