Trump loses two lawyers from legal team after indictment

Former President Donald Trump's legal team suffered a major blow on Friday when two of his top lawyers, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, resigned from their positions. The resignations came just hours after news broke that Trump and his close aide, Walt Nauta, had been indicted on charges related to their handling of classified documents. Trusty and Rowley had been leading Trump's Washington, D.C.-based legal team for months and were frequently seen at the federal courthouse.

In response to the resignations, Trump announced on Twitter that Todd Blanche, an attorney he had recently retained to help fight unrelated felony charges, would lead his legal team, along with a firm to be named later. Blanche is expected to play a more elevated, central role in Trump's legal defense.

The departures of Trusty and Rowley, along with the recent departure of a third lawyer, Tim Parlatore, who had helped guide Trump's defense in the documents matter, deprive Trump of some of his most seasoned legal hands at the most perilous moment of his legal travails. Parlatore cited internal disagreement, particularly with longtime Trump hand Boris Epshteyn, as his reason for abruptly quitting.

One potential silver lining for Trump is that the case appears to have been initially directed toward U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who handled his lawsuit last year after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate. Cannon, a Trump appointee to the federal bench, raised eyebrows with her unorthodox rulings sharply in Trump's favor that were ultimately reversed by a panel of an appeals court. Two people close to Trump did not dispute that Cannon would potentially oversee the case and said they were pleased by the possibility.

Overall, the resignation of two of Trump's top lawyers and the recent departure of a third lawyer have dealt a blow to his legal defense at a critical moment. However, the appointment of Todd Blanche and the possibility of Judge Aileen Cannon overseeing the case may provide some hope for Trump's defense team.


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