I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what to make of this, other than I suppose it is good news for Trump that a real lawyer, Emmet Flood, has agreed to work with him. On the other hand, it is odd that, in a team infamous for being “several lawyers short of a starting line-up,” it comes at the expense of the “retirement” (his words) of “Ty Cobb” who is a “White House” lawyer, as “special counsel to the President” handling the Russia investigation. NBC reports that Ty Cobb informed John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, that he will be “retiring” at the end of the month.
AS of now, it is unclear whether or not Emmett Flood will be joining the White House as a White House employee, as Cobb did.
Emmet Flood is a real deal lawyer. He represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings, he represented Vice President Dick Cheney in a civil suit filed by Valerie Plane, and handled the George W. Bush effort to seek “Executive privilege” before the Supreme Court to hide the Cheney “Energy Committee” notes – the ones that had the Iraqi invasion plans laid out in March of 2001. In case you find yourself wondering where Flood sits on the political spectrum, don’t let his representation of Bill Clinton get in the way of your thinking, the man clerked for Anthony Scalia prior to entering private practice. In other words, he possesses “conservative bona fides” like few others.
More interesting is the question as to why Ty Cobb would decide to “retire” now. Surely, Mr. Cobb knew that the “job” he signed on for would require his attention for well over a year, multiple years, likely. There is nothing indicating that Trump pushed him out, either. However, we do know that this arises during the period in which the “Mueller questions” leaked out from the White House (surely), and we know that Ty Cobb was unique among Trump advocates in his belief that they should cooperate with Mueller, do all they could to assist the special counsel’s office and get it over. At the risk of reading too much into the matter, one wouldn’t be blamed for speculating that Cobb saw that his advice or strategy has been rejected. We should not forget that “Rudy” recently “injected” himself into the negotiations between Mueller and Trump about the sit-down meeting, and reports indicate that the talks got “heated” and even involved Mueller threatening to subpoena Trump.
We are all looking from the outside-in, but that context cannot be ignored. Ty Cobb, while not a 5-star attorney like Flood, had been seen as semi-reasonable, and something has caused him to make a rather abrupt “change of plans.” At least this time, Trump has someone competent able to sit-in and “pinch-hit” for Cobb. (Sorry).
As I wrote earlier today, I will continue to await further news on when the NYPD, the NYAG, the FBI or Robert Mueller, or some combination of the four, arrest Trump for conspiring to steal personal property, to wit: the medical records at Dr. Bornstein’s office. I don’t know yet, of a defense for that action.