As we detailed earlier, in the latest sign that the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is still a ways off, the New York Times reported Monday that the president has decided to hire another lawyer to his legal team.
Trump is reportedly bringing on Joseph diGenova, a longtime Washington lawyer who has pushed the theory that the FBI and Justice Department framed Trump in their push to remove him from office.
DiGenova isn’t expected to take a lead role, but he is expected to be a “more aggressive player on the president’s legal team”, joining in the middle of negotiations with the special counsel over the parameters of a possible interview with the president.
However, there is a caveat: “The hire has not been announced, and Mr. Trump frequently changes his mind and sometimes adjusts his plans based on media coverage. it was not clear whether Mr. Trump planned to hire other lawyers.”
DiGenova has said during television appearances that a secretive group of FBI agents pulled strings to launch the Russia investigation as a way to stop Trump from becoming president.
“There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime,” he said on Fox News in January. He added,
“Make no mistake about it: A group of FBI and DOJ people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime.”
DiGenova, a former US attorney for Washington DC, has worked in private practice in the district for decades. He was once served as independent counsel during a government waste, fraud and abuse investigation into officials who served during the George HW Bush administration and their search for damaging information on Bill Clinton.
In 1995, the longtime Republican said the investigation into the elder Bush was “unnecessary” and a “Kafkaesque journey for a group of innocent Americans comes to an end.”
The news follows reports that Trump was in talks to hire Emmet T Flood, who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. Trump also recently hired Charles Harder, the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful defamation lawsuit against Gawker, to assist longtime attorney Michael Cohen in moving a lawsuit against former adult film star Stephanie Clifford – aka Stormy Daniels – into a federal court.
Of note, diGenova’s wife is former Reagan Justice Department official and former chief counsel of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Victoria Toensing – who happens to represent FBI whistleblower William D. Campbell.
After Campbell spent decades working for the CIA, he was “turned over” to the FBI for a decade of counterintelligence work due to relationships he had forged deep within the Russian uranium industry. While undercover, Campbell was required by the Russians – under threat, to launder large sums of money, allowing the FBI to uncover a massive Russian “nuclear money laundering apparatus.”
Campbell uncovered two related bribery schemes involving Russian nuclear officials, an American trucking company, and efforts to route money to the Clinton Global Initiative through an American lobbying firm in order to overcome regulatory hurdles, according to reports by The Hill and Circa.
While undercover, Campbell collected over 5,000 documents and briefs over a six-year period beginning in 2009, some of which are said to detail efforts by Moscow to route money to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) through lobbying firm APCO Worldwide – including video evidence of bribe money related to the Uranium One deal being stuffed into suitcases.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.“ -William Campbell
Officials with APCO – the lobbying firm accused of funneling the money to the Clinton Global Initiative, told The Hill that its support for CGI and its work for Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm.
After the details of Campbell’s undercover work for the FBI leaked in an October 2017 report by The Hill – Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News and Joel Schectman of Reuters published articles smearing Campbell, saying he was “so unreliable that prosecutors dropped him as a witness” in a case unrelated to his undercover work – while two “senior officials” within the Justice Department fed Congressional investigators the same thing during a December 15 briefing.
And after Campbell testified to Congressional investigators in February after an “iron-clad” gat order was lifted, while seriously ill from cancer and suffering from the effects of chemotherapy, Campbell was smeared again – with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) firing off a letter to committee Chairmen Trey Gowdy and Devin Nunes over Campbell’s “serious credibility concerns,” which Victoria Toensing addressed in a scorching letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in late February.
It stands to reason – and this is pure speculation, that if President Trump has been denied access to William Campbell’s evidence by the DOJ – revealing money routed to the Clinton charity, Russians stuffing bribe money into briefcases, and bragging about how easily they “bought” the Clintons, diGenova could simply walk into the Oval Office and hand it over.