Ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani joins Donald Trump's legal team

Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Jan 12, 2017.
Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Jan 12, 2017.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining President Donald Trump's personal legal team, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow announced on Thursday (April 19).

A week after federal agents raided the offices and residence of longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Sekulow sought to bolster the force protecting the president from mounting challenges on several sides.

"The President said, 'Rudy is great. He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country,'" Sekulow said in a statement.

Sekulow said Giuliani, who presided over New York City from 1994 to 2001, "expressed his deep appreciation to the president for allowing him to assist in this important matter."

Sekulow also named two other lawyers to the White House team, Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin, specialists in white collar criminal defense.

Trump is facing numerous legal challenges, including the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as possible obstruction of justice; allegations that women were paid money to stay quiet about affairs they had with Trump; and challenges over his family businesses.

On March 22, the lead attorney on Trump's legal team, John Dowd, resigned amid reported differences over how much Trump should cooperate with Mueller.

Since then the White House has had trouble recruiting attorneys to bolster the team.

"I'm doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller," Giuliani told The Washington Post on Thursday in an interview.