Another day brings more chaos to Donald Trump’s legal team, but don’t be fooled—this is by no means business as usual. Within an hour of news breaking of attorney Ty Cobb’s exit from the White House, it’s becoming crystal clear Team Trump is gearing up for war.
First, Cobb reportedly left because he wasn’t interested in the scorched earth-campaign Trump has been executing from his Twitter account.
Source familiar with Cobb's departure says WH lawyer had been clashing with Trump in recent weeks: "Ty was uncomfortable with the Mueller tweets…" and was not going to be "part of a mud slinging campaign." Cobb made it clear to POTUS, legal team he "can't go down that path."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 2, 2018
Cobb’s concerns from within the White House comport perfectly with the new posture Trump’s personal legal team, led by Jay Sekulow and now Rudy Giuliani, has begun implementing externally on the Russia probe. The Washington Post writes:
“Jay felt that he needed someone that was more aggressive,” Giuliani said. “That’s not a criticism of Ty, but it’s just about how we’re going to do this.” […]
Giuliani said the president and the White House need a “more aggressive” approach as the special counsel pressures Trump for a sit-down interview. He said that Trump’s legal team is going to push Mueller to demonstrate what evidence he has and limit his questions for the president.
Cobb’s replacement will likely be Emmet Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. As the Post‘s Robert Costa told MSNBC, “This is a sea change in the president’s legal team. You’re moving from Ty Cobb who preached cooperation […] to Giuliani and Emmet Flood, two combative personalities, guiding the president.”
It appears someone at the White House was listening to oldie-but-baddie Steve Bannon when he laid out his plan for kneecapping the Mueller probe last month. The first step: fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia probe. Then stop cooperating with Mueller (the polar opposite of Cobb’s approach). Then try to invalidate all the interviews Mueller has already done with White House staff by invoking executive privilege retroactively.
In any case, the period of cooperation is over.