Impeachment lawyer met with Trump about White House job: source

(Reuters) – Veteran Washington lawyer Emmet Flood is under consideration for a White House job assisting U.S. President Donald Trump with the Russia probe, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Flood, who advised former President Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings, met with Trump in the White House this week, the person said, but no decision about the job has been made.

The meeting comes as Trump’s outside legal team has been negotiating with U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller over a possible interview with the president, another person close to the situation said.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, whether there was any collusion with the Trump campaign, and possibly obstruction of justice related to the probe.

Russia has denied interfering in the election campaign. Trump has said there was no collusion between Moscow and his campaign and no obstruction.

White House officials on Saturday expressed concern about news that “an impeachment lawyer” might join the team at this point, a third source said.

Flood advised Bill Clinton in the late 1990s in impeachment proceedings brought by the U.S. House of Representatives and tried before the U.S. Senate, where he was acquitted.

Flood also spent two years in the White House Counsel’s office, where he handled executive-privilege related disputes for President George W. Bush’s administration to Congressional investigations and other inquiries. He also once clerked for Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Last year, Flood turned down a post that ultimately went to Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer now assisting the president with the special counsel’s probe, Reuters reported in July.

New York lawyer Marc Kasowitz was leading Trump’s legal team at the time, a role veteran Washington lawyer John Dowd took over last summer.

Dowd told Reuters on Saturday that he did not know anything about Flood possibly joining the White House legal team, but that Cobb was not leaving as far as he knew.

Another source added that Cobb was not expected to leave until the Russia inquiry was over. It is unclear how Flood’s responsibilities might differ from Cobb’s.

Flood’s law firm, Williams and Connolly, represents Hillary Clinton, including in the email scandal, one possible reason that sources told Reuters last year the firm turned down representing Trump as outside counsel.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokesperson for the law firm could immediately be reached for comment.

The news of Flood’s possible role was first reported on Saturday by The New York Times.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Diane Craft)