WASHINGTON (AP) — A key lawyer for former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was leaving the legal team, a move that comes as a special counsel investigation into the retention of classified documents shows signs of being in its final stages.
Timothy Parlatore told The Associated Press that his departure had nothing to do with Trump and was not a reflection on his view of the Justice Department’s investigation, which he has long called misguided and overly aggressive, or on the strength of the government’s evidence. He said he believed he had served Trump well.
Other lawyers, including former Justice Department prosecutor James Trusty, are continuing to represent Trump in Washington investigations.
CNN earlier reported Parlatore’s departure.
Parlatore has long been a key member of the team representing Trump in an investigation by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith into the possession of hundreds of classified documents at the former president’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago as well as into possible efforts to obstruct that probe.
A grand jury over the last several months has heard from a broad array of witnesses close to Trump. Federal prosecutors in March questioned another of Trump’s lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran, before the grand jury after successfully piercing attorney-client privilege. Parlatore testified voluntarily in December about efforts to recover classified documents in response to government demands.
Last month, Parlatore and other lawyers for Trump issued a letter to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner, laying out a series of defense arguments of Trump and saying that the Justice Department should be “ordered to stand down” in its investigation.
Besides the Mar-a-Lago probe, Smith has also been investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, with former Vice President Mike Pence among the grand jury witnesses in that probe. Manhattan prosecutors charged Trump in March arising from hush-money payments made to a porn star who said he had an extramarital sexual encounter with her years earlier.
In Georgia, prosecutors in Fulton County are expected to announce in coming months the results of an investigation into attempts to subvert Trump’s election loss to President Joe Biden in that state.