Updated Mar 23, 2018 8:32 AM EDT

The resignation of President Trump’s lead lawyer in the special counsel’s Russia investigation on Thursday has shaken up the legal team, just as Mr. Trump intensifies attacks on an inquiry he calls nothing more than a witch hunt.

The departure of attorney John Dowd removes the primary negotiator and legal strategist who had been molding Trump’s defense. On Saturday, Dowd said it’s time to “end” the Russia probe. 

It also comes just days after the Trump legal team added a new lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova, who has accused FBI officials of being involved in a “brazen plot” to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the email investigation and to “frame” Mr. Trump for nonexistent crimes.

But Mr. Trump indicated on Thursday that he still wants to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Mr. Trump said he “would like to” testify, in a brief exchange with reporters.

Speaking in New York Thursday, former chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon said he thinks his old boss will be going to “war” over the Russia probe. 

“I think President Trump’s going to war,” Bannon said, noting that Mr. Trump is bringing in more aggressive lawyers. 

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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