A key lawyer in former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation resigned from Trump’s legal team amidst what appears to be the final stretch of special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into the documents and attempts to impede the 2020 election.
CNN first reported Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore’s Tuesday departure, which had been rumored among Trump’s inner circle for several weeks, initially citing two sources familiar with the matter before receiving a statement from Parlatore confirming his exit.
“It’s been an incredible honor to serve and work through interesting legal issues. My departure was a personal choice and does not reflect upon the case, as I believe strongly the (Justice Department) team is engaging in misconduct to pursue an investigation of conduct that is not criminal,” Parlatore told CNN.
The high-profile lawyer played a crucial role in Trump’s ongoing legal disputes. Last year, he organized searches for additional documents at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s properties in Bedminster, a Palm Beach office and a storage unit in Florida. He also appeared before a grand jury for about seven hours in December while Trump’s team battled with the Justice Department, which had attempted to hold Trump in contempt for not handing over classified documents after receiving a subpoena last May.
“I chose to go in there because I felt that it was a good opportunity as a trial lawyer for me to go in and be able to speak directly to the grand jury to explain to them what we did, to explain to them how we had complied with the subpoena, how there was no obstruction,” Parlatore told CNN last month.
“They repeatedly tried to ask me about my conversations with President Trump, which is totally outside the scope of what I was there for,” he later added of the questions prosecutors asked him.
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Parlatore recently co-wrote a letter to House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner requesting that Congress advise the Justice Department to step back from the classified materials investigation, citing a belief that the intelligence community should be conducting the probe.
His exit serves as another example of the internal turmoil of the former president’s legal team as they navigate his deck of legal disputes.
According to Politico, the former Trump attorney, in a recent CNN appearance, expressed a distaste with Joe Tacopina, the New York lawyer who represented Trump in his recent civil trial over the sexual battery and defamation of writer E. Jean Carrol. Anchor Kaitlan Collins questioned him about Trump’s criminal charges regarding hush money payments, another case Tacopina is working on.
“I’m not going to comment on Joe Tacopina,” Parlatore reportedly told Collins.
Chris Kise, a Florida attorney brought on to Trump’s legal team last summer to aid in the Justice Department investigation, was also reportedly sidelined on the case within a month and assigned to work on the New York attorney general’s civil case against the former president.
Parlatore previously garnered national attention for representing a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes who was later acquitted.