White House Lawyer Ty Cobb Retiring; Former Clinton Lawyer Taking Over Special Counsel Defense

Ty Cobb Getty

White House lawyer Ty Cobb has announced his decision to retire, handing over the lead of the Special Counsel investigation to a lawyer who represented former President Bill Clinton.

“It has been an honor to serve the country in this capacity at the White House,” Cobb said in an interview with the New York Times. “I wish everybody well moving forward.”

The White House confirmed the news.

“For several weeks Ty Cobb has been discussing his retirement and last week he let Chief of Staff Kelly know he would retire at the end of this month,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement to reporters 

Trump moved to hire Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer who defended Clinton during the impeachment process, according to the Times report. According to his firm’s website, Flood worked for George W. Bush’s administration, handling the administration’s response to congressional investigations. He also represented former Vice President Dick Cheney in a civil suit brought by Valerie Plame.

The news was confirmed by the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

“Emmet Flood will be joining the White House Staff to represent the President and the administration against the Russia witch hunt,” Sanders said in a separate statement. “Ty Cobb, a friend of the President, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month.”

Flood’s appointment signaled that Trump was ramping up the caliber of his legal defense team. 

“Fasten your seat belts folks. It’s war,” wrote Norm Eisen an ethics czar for the Obama White House on Twitter. “I know Emmet—in fact, he briefed me during the Bush to Obama transition when I was coming in as special counsel & he was headed out. He’s one of the very best. This will be a fight for the ages.”