WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lead lawyer in the special counsel’s Russia investigation has resigned. The move on Thursday has shaken up the legal team just as Trump intensifies attacks on an inquiry he calls nothing more than a witch hunt.

The departure of attorney John Dowd removes the primary negotiator and legal strategist who had been molding Trump’s defense.

It also comes just days after the Trump legal team added a new lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova, who has accused FBI officials of being involved in a “brazen plot” to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the email investigation and to “frame” Trump for nonexistent crimes.

Author photo
CHAD DAY and ERIC TUCKER
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.