Advice to Trump Lawyers: Keep Voices Down at Lunch

'NYT' reporter overhears attorneys discussing strategy at restaurant
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2017 7:51 AM CDT
Advice to Trump Lawyers: Keep Voices Down at Lunch
Trump attorney Ty Cobb.   (Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post via AP)

The New York Times has a front-page story Monday detailing the friction among attorneys on President Trump's legal team over how fully to cooperate with Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Also interesting, however, is how the newspaper got the scoop: It seems that reporter Kenneth Vogel went to lunch at a steakhouse in DC and happened to sit near Trump attorneys Ty Cobb and John Dowd. (Vogel even tweeted a photo of the two men.) During lunch, Cobb and Dowd talked casually, and loudly, about the investigation and in particular about their frustration with White House counsel Donald McGahn. (Cobb is a high-powered outside attorney brought in to manage the White House response to the Mueller investigation.) The steakhouse is close to the White House and also happens to be next door to the Times' Washington bureau, notes the Washington Post.

The short version is that Cobb wants to quickly turn over all documents even remotely connected to the Russia investigation to Mueller, in order to get the matter resolved, while McGhan is pushing for a more cautious approach. "The White House counsel’s office is being very conservative with this stuff," Cobb told Dowd at the lunch. "Our view is we’re not hiding anything." He also referred to a unnamed colleague he viewed as a "McGhan spy" and to somebody he blamed for leaks to the media who had "tried to push Jared out." More cryptically, he said McGhan "had a couple documents locked in a safe" that Cobb apparently wanted. The Times story adds that Cobb got chewed out by McGhan and Trump chief of staff John Kelly when the newspaper called to ask about Cobb's loud lunch comments. (Read more New York Times stories.)

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