President Donald Trump made yet another addition to his legal team Monday as new revelations in the FBI probe into Russian election interference continue to emerge.
Steven Groves, former chief of staff to U.N. Ambassador Nicki Haley, was brought on to serve as deputy to White House special counsel Ty Cobb, the White House confirmed Monday. Groves’ hire is the latest indication that the White House is increasing its capacity to respond to developments in FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller’s team is reportedly preparing to indict former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort over alleged financial crimes, the latest in a series of developments that suggest the investigation is nearing “the litigation stage,” according to senior Brookings Fellow Ben Wittes.
The leadership on Trump’s legal team is divided between Cobb, White House counsel Don McGahn and Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd. The three veteran attorneys have, at times, struggled to align their priorities and legal strategy.
The most public indication of the infighting came Sunday night after New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel overheard Cobb at a Washington D.C. restaurant loudly complaining about a lack of transparency on the part of McGahn. Vogel reported he heard Cobb maligning McGahn’s unwillingness to furnish certain unspecified documents apparently relevant to Mueller’s probe.
Prior to joining Trump’s legal team, Groves worked at the conservative D.C. based think tank the Heritage Foundation and investigated the U.N. oil-for-food scandal as senior counsel to the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations.
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