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Trump’s Denver-tied point man on Mueller probe is exiting

Author: Mark Harden - May 2, 2018 - Updated: May 3, 2018

Ty-Cobb.jpg
Ty Cobb (file)

A high-powered white-collar defense attorney with Denver ties is exiting the legal team helping President Donald Trump face special counsel Robert Mueller’s broadening investigation.

Ty Cobb was named last July to the Trump team. Cobb, 67, told the New York Times he informed Trump weeks ago of plans to retire.

He’ll reportedly be replaced as Trump’s legal point man in dealing with Mueller’s probe by Emmet Flood, a Williams & Connolly partner who helped represent former President Bill Clinton as he went through the impeachment process.

The change comes as Trump appears to be pivoting to a more confrontational stance toward Mueller, who reportedly has raised the possibility that he may subpoena the president if he declines requests for a voluntary interview.

Says the Washington Post:

Flood appears willing to take a more adversarial approach to the special counsel than Cobb, who advised Trump that cooperating with the probe would help bring it to a rapid conclusion.

This image provided by Williams & Connolly LLP shows attorney Emmet Flood in Washington on Dec. 8, 2015. (Marissa Rauch/Williams & Connolly LLP via AP)

Cobb was a longtime partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, serving as managing partner of the law firm’s Denver office for five years in the early 2000s. The firm was then known as Hogan & Hartson ahead of a merger.

Cobb also led the firm’s white collar and investigations group from Denver and served as its litigation group director.

A 2015 Super Lawyers profile called Cobb “the big gun on whom powerful people rely.”

Cobb was originally brought in to help Trump’s legal team coordinate its response to investigations into whether the president’s campaign organization colluded with representatives of Russia in efforts to sway the 2016 U.S. election.

Those probes have since expanded into other areas, including questions about possible obstruction of justice, according to reports.

Cobb was seen as someone who would try to bring discipline to the Trump team’s response to the investigations.

Cobb is distantly related to the Hall of Fame baseball player of the same name, Super Lawyers reports.

A former federal prosecutor in Baltimore, where he led an organized-crime task force, Cobb later helped to defend associates of former President Bill Clinton during his administration, including former Democratic National Committee fundraiser John Huang and former White House aide David Watkins, Reuters reports.

In the early 2000s, Cobb represented some former executives of Denver-based Qwest Communications International — later bought by CenturyLink Inc. — when they were facing federal probes and lawsuits related to alleged financial wrongdoing at Qwest, the Denver Post reports.

The Kansas-reared lawyer, known for his cowboy boots and distinctive handlebar mustache, has been seen often over the years speaking on behalf of clients on national news broadcasts. He graduated from Harvard University and holds a law degree from Georgetown University.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.