Trump to replace Ty Cobb with Clinton impeachment lawyer Emmet Flood

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - White House lawyer Ty Cobb, hired to assist President Donald Trump with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election, will retire at the end of May, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.

He is expected to be replaced by veteran Washington lawyer Emmet Flood, who advised former President Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings, a person familiar with the matter said.

The New York Times first reported the moves, citing two people briefed on the matter.

"For several weeks Ty Cobb has been discussing his retirement and last week he let Chief of Staff (John) Kelly know he would retire at the end of this month," Sanders said in a statement.

Neither Cobb nor Flood immediately responded to requests for comment by Reuters.

RELATED: Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle

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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
Hope Hicks: Former White House Director of Strategic Communications
Melania Trump: Wife to President Trump and first lady of the United States
Gary Cohn: Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council
Michael Flynn: Former National Security Advisor, no longer with the Trump administration
Ivanka Trump: First daughter and presidential adviser
Gen. John Kelly: Former Secretary of Homeland Security, current White House chief of staff
Steve Bannon: Former White House chief strategist, no longer with the Trump administration
Jared Kushner: Son-in-law and senior adviser
Kellyanne Conway: Former Trump campaign manager, current counselor to the president
Reince Priebus: Former White House chief of staff, no longer with the Trump administration
Anthony Scaramucci: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: White House press secretary
Donald Trump Jr.: First son to President Trump
Sean Spicer: Former White House press secretary, soon to be no longer with the Trump administration
Jeff Sessions: U.S. attorney general
Steve Mnuchin: Secretary of Treasury
Paul Manafort: Former Trump campaign chairman
Carter Page: Former foreign policy adviser to Trump's presidential campaign
Omarosa Manigault: Former Director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison
Jason Miller: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Mike Dubke: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Stephen Miller: Trump senior policy adviser
Corey Lewandowski: Former Trump campaign manager
Eric Trump: Son to President Trump
Rex Tillerson: Former Secretary of State
Sebastian Gorka: Former deputy assistant to the president in the Trump administration, no longer in his White House role
Roger Stone: Former Trump campaign adviser, current host of Stone Cold Truth
Betsy DeVos: U.S. Education Secretary
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Last year, Flood turned down the post that ultimately went to Cobb, Reuters reported in July. He then met with Trump in March about assisting the administration with the Russia probe, but it was unclear what position he might take, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters at the time.

Flood advised former President Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings in the late 1990s brought by the U.S. House of Representatives and tried before the U.S. Senate, where Clinton 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 and congressional investigations and other inquiries. He also once clerked for Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Cobb joined the administration in July after resigning from the Washington law firm of Hogan Lovells. In an interview with Reuters in August he predicted a quick end to the Mueller probe.

"I'd be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving, and worse if it's still haunting him by year end," Cobb told Reuters at the time.

Trump has since appeared increasingly frustrated with the ongoing investigation. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld; writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Mohammad Zargham and Susan Thomas)

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