JOSEPH E DiGENOVA



MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Trump hired the longtime Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova on Monday, adding an aggressive voice to his legal team who has pushed the theory on television that the FBI and Justice Department framed Mr. Trump.

Mr. diGenova, a former United States attorney, is not expected to take a lead role. But he will serve as an outspoken player for the president as Mr. Trump has increased his attacks on the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Trump broke over the weekend from the longstanding advice of some of his lawyers that he refrain from directly criticizing Mr. Mueller, a sign of his growing unease with the investigation.

“Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova will be joining our legal team later this week,” said Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers. “I have worked with Joe for many years and have full confidence that he will be a great asset in our representation of the President.”

Mr. diGenova has endorsed the notion that a secretive group of F.B.I. agents concocted the Russia investigation as a way to keep Mr. Trump from becoming president. “There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime,” he said on Fox News in January. He added, “Make no mistake about it: A group of FBI and DOJ people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime.”

Little evidence has emerged to support that theory. Most of what DiGenova says lately has little support.

Trump is turning to aggressive lawyers like diGenova. According to sources, diGenova was recommended to Trump by Dave Bossie and Jeanine Pirro, two of Trump’s hard-edged outside advisers. 

Two sources said Trump is likely to add diGenova’s wife (and frequent Fox News guest), Victoria Toensing, to the legal team. “She’s a killer,” one Republican who knows the couple said. Toensing is currently representing William Campbell, a former lobbyist and F.BI. informant, who claimed in an interview with members of three congressional committees that Russia steered money to the Clinton Foundation to grease the so-called Uranium One deal. 

The hiring of Toensing would be a sign that Trump wants to flip the script and investigate his investigators. Appearing on Fox News, Toensing has called for a second special prosecutor to investigate Mueller, the logic being that he was F.B.I. director at the time that the Uranium One acquisition was approved.

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