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Top White House lawyer John Dowd quits

John Dowd, Donald Trump’s lead lawyer in the Mueller investigation, has resigned.

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “John Dowd, Trump’s lead lawyer in Mueller investigation, quits” was written by Ben Jacobs in Washington, for theguardian.com on Thursday 22nd March 2018 15.55 UTC

John Dowd, Donald Trump’s lead lawyer in the Mueller investigation, has resigned.

The news was first reported by the Washington Post. In an email to the Guardian, Dowd confirmed his departure and said: “I love the president and wish him well.”

The 77-year-old left Trump’s legal team days after the hiring of Joseph DiGenova, a cable news commentator and former US attorney who has claimed the investigation into Russian election interference and alleged links between Trump aides and Moscow is an attempt by the FBI and Department of Justice to frame the president.

Dowd drew attention on Saturday when he told the Daily Beast he hoped Mueller’s investigation would be shut down.

In an email, Dowd said “I pray” deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller, “will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR] and attorney general Jeff Sessions”, who fired deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe on Friday.

That, Dowd said, would “bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier”.

Dowd first said he was speaking for the president but then rowed back, saying he had spoken in a personal capacity. He then told the Axios website Trump “didn’t have any problem” with his statement.

Before representing Trump, Dowd was best known for his role in Major League Baseball’s investigation of the all time hits leader Pete Rose, for gambling. As a result of Dowd’s controversial report, Rose was banned from baseball and made ineligible for induction in the Hall of Fame.

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Sarah Sanders, Raj Shah planning to depart the White House

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Two of the most visible members of the Trump administration are planning their departures, the latest sign of upheaval in a White House marked by turmoil.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are both heading for the exits, according to sources inside the White House and close to the administration. Sanders, who has become a confidante of President Trump since the departure of former communications director Hope Hicks, has told friends that she plans to leave the administration at the end of the year.

Shah is also considering his exit, but he has not yet settled on an exact date. Neither Sanders nor Shah immediately responded to repeated requests for comment.

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