Trump’s top lawyer in Russia meddling probe steps down

US President Donald Trump’s leading lawyer for the special investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election resigned amid changes in president’s team on Thursday, US media report.

Last weekend, attorney John Dowd (pictured) had called for an end to the probe as he was reportedly getting frustrated with Trump for ignoring his advice. Dowd denied the allegation.

Other reports said Trump had lost confidence in Dowd’s ability to handle special counsel Robert Mueller especially after the attorney sough an end to the investigation.

Dowd’s departure comes days after the Trump legal team added a new lawyer, former US attorney Joseph diGenova, DiGenova was said to have said on television that FBI officials plotted to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the email investigation and “frame” Trump for nonexistent crimes.

The New York Times said Trump was pleased with Dowd’s decision to resign.

“I love the President and wish him well,” Dowd said in a statement after his resignation.

Trump on Thursday said he “would like to” testify before Mueller, a former FBI director, and his team shortly after Dowd resigned.

Before his resignation, Dowd was in talks with Mueller’s investigation but had not decided whether Trump would be available to testify.

Last week, Trump tweeted that Mueller’s team had been stacked with “13 hardened Democrats”.

The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion, no crime, Trump said in a tweet adding that it was based on fraudulent activities.

Mueller’s investigation has increasingly focused on Trump’s inner circle in the White House as well as his various business associates. Earlier this month, Mueller delivered a subpoena to the Trump Organization, requesting material related to Trump’s businesses, especially those with Russian links.