White House lawyer who handled Mueller inquiry to leave June 14

Emmet Flood, the White House lawyer tasked with Mueller-related issues, will be leaving his position later this month, the President announced Saturday.

“Emmet Flood, who came to the White House to help me with the Mueller Report, will be leaving service on June 14th,” President Donald Trump tweeted. “He has done an outstanding job — NO COLLUSION – NO OBSTRUCTION! Case Closed! Emmet is my friend, and I thank him for the GREAT JOB he has done.”

Flood has been a White House lawyer since Ty Cobb’s departure from the position last spring. Former White House counsel Don McGahn worked to get Flood — who represented then-President Bill Clinton during his impeachment process in the late 1990s — to the White House, a source told CNN when Flood was joining the team.

The news was not a surprise, as Flood has been looking for the exits since the waning days of the Mueller investigation and had indicated to Trump weeks ago that he was likely to leave soon. Mueller announced his resignation from the Department of Justice on Wednesday.

Trump and Flood met Friday in the Oval Office to discuss the timing of Flood’s exit from the White House, a source familiar with the meeting tells CNN.

The source said that Flood’s “role has been winding down since the release of the Mueller report.”

“Mr. Mueller himself has stated that the investigation is over and he is returning to private life. And so over the next couple of weeks, Emmet will wind down his role as well,” the source said.

Whether Flood would remain on board if the House Judiciary Committee initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump had remained a lingering question in the West Wing.

But Flood had long indicated that he was not interested in staying after the Mueller report to handle the White House’s response to Democratic investigations and oversight, two sources familiar with his role said.

Flood was central to the White House’s response to the Mueller report, drafting a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr slamming Mueller for failing to come to a conclusion on obstruction. Federal prosecutors wrote that they were unable to conclude that “no criminal conduct occurred” to clear Trump of obstruction of justice. Justice Department precedent states that a sitting president cannot be charged.

“The special counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors,” Flood wrote, adding that Mueller needed to “either ask the grand jury to return an indictment or decline to charge the case.”

“The (special counsel) instead produced a prosecutorial curiosity — part ‘truth commission’ report and part law school exam paper,” Flood wrote, accusing Mueller of including in the report “factual information that has never been subjected to adversarial testing or independent analysis.”

Mueller publicly addressed the report Wednesday for the first time since its release, confirming his return to private life and reiterating the report’s core findings — that Russia meddled extensively in the 2016 election, and that his team could not make a determination on obstruction charges.

“If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” he said.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly reflect Flood’s position at the White House.