Two lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump, who represented him in investigations of classified documents, resigned from his legal team the day after he was indicted, according to a statement released Friday.
Attorneys James Trusty and John Rowley left the defense team in turmoil and confusion when Trump faced the most serious legal threat of his career. That’s the 37 indictments filed in Miami alleging Trump illegally kept documents after the Trump incident. He was dismissed for his involvement in collusion with some of the country’s most sensitive national security secrets and aides to sabotage the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve them.
Trump announced the resignations of Trusty and Lowry in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Friday. He said he will be represented by new attorney Todd Blanche.
“I would like to thank Jim Trusty and John Rowley for their work, but they were confronted by a group of the most dishonest, corrupt, evil and ‘sick’ people I have ever seen.” wrote the former president. . “We will be announcing additional attorneys in the coming days.”
In a joint statement released shortly after Trump’s message was posted, Trusty and Lowry said they had submitted their resignations. “It was an honor to spend the last year defending him, and we know he will be proven innocent,” they wrote.
Their resignations come a month after the resignation of Timothy Parratore, the third attorney on the Trump team. Days after stepping down from representing the former president, Paratore appeared on CNN to complain that another lawyer close to Trump, Boris Epstein, had caused friction within the legal team.
Blanche is scheduled to accompany Trump to his arraignment in Miami on Tuesday. It’s unclear if other lawyers will be accompanying him. A person familiar with the plan, who was not authorized to discuss the plan, said Trump is expected to begin meetings with new attorneys in Florida starting Monday.
Less than two hours after the former president’s lawyers were briefed on the charges, Trusty appeared on CNN Thursday night to defend Trump and condemn the lawsuit against him.
Trusty and Lowry were two of three attorneys who attended a meeting with Justice Department officials, including special counsel Jack Smith, three days before the indictment.
Trusty and Lowry have repeatedly complained about working with Epstein, according to two people familiar with the matter. A person with direct knowledge of the incident said it was part of the reason for leaving. Trusty and Lowry remain on good terms with Trump, the person said.
In the past, however, Trump’s lawyers have complained that Epstein only gave the former president good news and avoided bad news.
Blanche has represented both the former president and Epstein in a Manhattan court case against Trump.
In a statement, Trusty and Rowley said the move to Florida made it “the right time for us to step aside and let others carry the case to the end.” .
“We are not planning any media appearances to cover our withdrawal or any other sensitive communications we have had with the president or his legal team,” he added.
By contrast, Parratore directly attacked Epstein on CNN after leaving the team.
An aide to Trump, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said it was “absurd” to suggest his resignation was due to internal dynamics.
On Friday, when the indictment was unsealed, Parratore appeared on CNN and said of Lowry and Trusty’s resignations: I’m in a difficult situation. As he spoke, he clarified that he was referring to working with Epstein.
Parratore also acknowledged the seriousness of some of the charges in the indictment, particularly the allegation that documents held by Trump could undermine national security.
“It’s a pretty serious situation,” Parratore said.
The lawyers’ resignations come at a time when Trump has serious legal vulnerabilities and underscores how many of his legal teams have been riddled with factional strife and turnover over the years.
When Trump was investigated by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III for alleged collusion between the 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials, his legal team shuffled several times.
Impeached for the second time in January 2021 for inciting supporters in the Capitol to stay in power after the 2020 election, Trump again struggled to recruit lawyers. When he did so, many of them fought each other.