US President Donald Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has resigned.
John Dowd stepped down after concluding Mr Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice, the New York Times reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Mr Dowd confirmed his decision in an email to the Associated Press, saying “I love the President and wish him well”.
He did not immediately comment on why he resigned.
Mr Dowd and Jay Sekulow, who also represents Mr Trump in the Russia probe, have been in negotiations in recent weeks over a possible interview for Mr Trump with special counsel Robert Mueller, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
Mr Sekulow said in a statement that Mr Dowd was “a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team”.
“We will continue our ongoing representation of the President and our cooperation with the Office of Special Counsel,” he said.
On Saturday Mr Dowd had called for an end to the investigation, which he said was manufactured by former FBI director James Comey.
Mr Dowd has been Mr Trump’s lead outside lawyer for the Russia probe since last summer, when longtime Trump personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz stepped down.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump beefed up his legal team with a lawyer who accuses the FBI and US Justice Department of trying to frame Mr Trump with false charges of colluding with Russia during the 2016 election campaign.
It is a sign of a potentially more aggressive drive to discredit Mr Mueller.
Washington lawyer Joseph diGenova will also join the legal team this week, according to attorney Jay Sekulow, who also represents Mr Trump.
Last week, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that veteran Washington lawyer Emmet Flood was under consideration for a White House job assisting Mr Trump with the Russia probe.
Mr Mueller is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Moscow denies any interference and Mr Trump has said there was no collusion.