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Leading Trump lawyer Ty Cobb is retiring

Last Updated May 2, 2018 2:52 PM EDT

Ty Cobb, the longtime lead lawyer representing President Trump in matters related to the special counsel's investigation, is retiring. 

That news comes as Emmet Flood, Bill Clinton's attorney in the impeachment proceedings in the 1990s, is expected to join the White House legal team, CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, according to a White House official. According to this official, Flood has reached an agreement with Mr. Trump to replace Don McGahn as White House counsel when McGahn decides to leave that post. In the meantime, Flood will handle matters related to the Russia investigation inside the White House. 

Cobb told Garrett the president wanted to stay, and working for the president's legal team has meant sacrifices — including putting off orthopedic surgeries and living in something akin to an attic, he said. Cobb is expected to retire at the end of the month.

"'It's been a great honor to serve my country. I am going to be retiring at the end of the month," Cobb said. "I have been in discussions with (chief of staff John) Kelly on that for a few weeks. It's real. I don't mind being regarded as a peacemaker. People will think this means we're going to war but I would not read that into this. This is good for me. I have postponed many orthopedic procedures and basically been living in an attic. It's been a real sacrifice for me. The president wanted me to stay. The key point is all the documents requested by the special counsel were produced by late October. All the interviews with White House personnel were conducted by late January. The bulk of the work was done. It's easier for me to leave now."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed Cobb had floated his retirement for weeks in an initial statement that said nothing about Cobb's performance. 

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

A follow-up statement confirmed Flood's joining the team to work "against the Russia witch hunt," and praised Cobb. 

"Emmet Flood will be joining the White House Staff to represent the president and the administration against the Russia witch hunt. Ty Cobb, a friend of the president, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month," Sanders said.

Cobb's departure is only the latest for the president's legal team that shifts frequently of late. In March, Mr. Trump decried a New York Times story that he was unhappy with his legal team as "false," saying he is "VERY happy" with his lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. Dowd announced his departure from Mr. Trump's legal team days later. Since then, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has also joined Mr. Trump's legal team. 

Cobb's retirement comes shortly after questions special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask Mr. Trump in an interview were leaked to the New York Times. The Washington Post has also reported that Mueller has told Mr. Trump's lawyers he might subpoena the president, if he doesn't voluntarily comply. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.