Updated at 7 p.m. ET
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump’s legal team to help deal with the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.
“Rudy is great,” Trump said in a statement released by his attorney Jay Sekulow. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”
The development was first reported by The Washington Post, which spoke with Giuliani.
“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 said.
In his statement, Sekulow also announced that former federal prosecutors Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin are joining the president’s legal team as well.
Before entering politics in the late 1980s, Giuliani spent the first 20 years of his career as an attorney. He graduated magna cum laude from New York University Law School in 1968 and was appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1983.
“I have had the privilege of working with Mayor Giuliani for many years, and we welcome his expertise,” said Sekulow.
Giuliani told The Washington Post that he “formalized” his decision in recent days, including over dinner last week at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He declined to say whether Trump has made a final decision on whether to sit for an interview with Mueller.
Trump has had difficulty acquiring legal help. One of his lawyers, John Dowd, resigned last month. NPR’s Amy Held laid out the many lawyers linked to Trump who ended up not joining the team — most recently frequent Fox News contributor Joseph diGenova and his wife, lawyer Victoria Toensing.
The mainstream legal world appeared to continue to want to keep Trump at arm’s length on Thursday. Richard Rosenbaum, the executive chairman of Giuliani’s law firm, Greenberg Traurig, issued this statement on Thursday after the news about Giuliani’s decision.
“Mr. Giuliani is taking a leave of absence, effective today, for an unspecified period of time to handle matters unrelated to the law firm or its clients,” Rosenbaum said.
Giuliani has long been supportive of Trump politically, often appearing as a surrogate for the campaign on cable news leading up to the 2016 election.