Trump lawyer Parlatore exits legal team amid US special counsel probes

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Gallagher's defense attorney Parlatore speaks to the media in San Diego

By Jacqueline Thomsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tim Parlatore, an attorney who has represented Donald Trump in a pair of U.S. Justice Department investigations led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, said on Wednesday he has left the Republican former president's legal team.

Parlatore has represented Trump in Smith's investigations into efforts by the former president and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and into Trump's retention of classified documents after he left office in 2021.

In a statement, Parlatore did not give a reason for his departure but said he believes "very strongly in the merits of the case, and the DOJ (Department of Justice) is acting improperly."

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump, who is facing a series of legal worries including criminal charges brought last month in New York involving hush money paid to a porn star, is the current front-runner for 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Biden is seeking re-election next year.

Parlatore organized searches of Trump properties for any remaining classified documents after FBI agents found thousands of government records during a search last August at the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Parlatore in December testified before a federal grand jury in Washington on the search efforts he organized.

Parlatore last month was among Trump's lawyers who called for the U.S. intelligence community, not the Justice Department, to investigate the retention of the documents.

According to U.S. media reports, fellow Trump attorney Evan Corcoran has recused himself from the classified documents investigation.

CNN first reported Parlatore's exit.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)