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Trump's New Lawyer Says He Took The Job To Help A "President In Need"

Ty Cobb, in a goodbye email to his law firm, defended his decision to represent the president and highlighted his support for "equality for all races, ethnicities, genders, and the LGBT community."

Last updated on July 28, 2017, at 7:46 p.m. ET

Posted on July 28, 2017, at 6:43 p.m. ET

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

"I wasn't going to say NO to a President in need," Ty Cobb wrote in his goodbye email to the lawyers at the law firm he has called his own for nearly 30 years before departing to join the Trump White House next week.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News provided after initial publication of his goodbye email, Cobb wrote, "I am deeply grateful to the President for the honor he bestowed upon me by asking me to serve my country yet again. I look forward to working with him, General Kelly and others to navigate the turbulent environment domestically and abroad with courage, creativity and integrity. I believe in the goal of making America great again and forever. It is important to the free world and to me."

Cobb sent the goodbye email to the lawyers at Hogan Lovells on Friday.

Jerry Cleveland / Getty Images

Ty Cobb in 2004.

"However you may feel about my next assignment, trust that I take my ethics, and my strongly held views on the importance of support, tolerance and equality for all races, ethnicities, genders, and the LGBT community with me into that new workplace," he wrote — a sign of the growing difficulty lawyers and others face in choosing to work for the Trump administration.

Cobb also highlighted his "passion for conservation and the environment" in the email.

Cobb's hiring was announced by the White House earlier this month.

Cobb did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the email.

The full email Cobb sent to his Hogan Lovells colleagues:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been my genuine honor to serve as a partner here for 29 years. I am deeply grateful for the collaboration with my talented colleagues, the support from lawyers and staff, the responsibilities entrusted to me (both elected and assigned) and the simple pride I felt in being part of this great institution. I likewise have been genuinely touched over the past 3 decades by the confidence and trust of colleagues and staff who sought my guidance and/or active assistance in personal or family matters. Thank you so for allowing me to help. I will always be grateful to the legends of the firm who first showed confidence in me and my suggestion of opening a Baltimore office in 1988--Bob Glen Odle, Jay Ricks, Arthur Rothkopf, George Carneal, David Hensler and Allen Snyder. A special thanks to Bob Glen Odle for investing in a cocky young former prosecutor and creating running room for me to build a practice and succeed here. It did help that in our first meeting we were both wearing Lucchese cowboy boots!

I want to thank Steve Immelt for our 40 years of friendship and his patience, excellent leadership of the firm, and years of wise counsel. You all are in great hands. Special thanks as well to the enforcement and investigations team, best in the world, for their collegiality and the reputation they have achieved individually and for the firm. Austin Mittler, Allen Snyder and David Hensler taught me so much about upgrading my act. Deeply grateful to them all. Susie Thompson and Dianne Stettler have been godsends to me over the past 14 years, and Jennifer Seibert, Mini Kim, Steve Thornton, Steve "Stewie" Pattee, Richard "Rocky" Meador, have always been very generous to this often unduly needy partner. Many many others deserve special mention, but this is a note not a treatise, and I apologize for all omissions.

However you may feel about my next assignment, trust that I take my ethics, and my strongly held views on the importance of support, tolerance and equality for all races, ethnicities, genders, and the LGBT community with me into that new workplace. Likewise, as a long time member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Grand Canyon Trust, my passion for conservation and the environment will never be dampened. In choosing to accept the position I have been asked to undertake by the President of the United States, and while family will always be most important to me, I was guided by "duty, honor, country", a phrase which I was recently reminded of by our own Senator Warner. As the oldest of eight kids from rural Western [Kansas], raised by a father who was a Navy fighter pilot in WWII, and having been given such great opportunities by our country over time, I wasn’t going to say NO to a President in need. I very much hope to contribute positively and professionally as a public servant yet again. Best wishes and much success always. Long live Hogan Lovells! Please stay in touch!




This story was updated at 7:46 p.m. to include comment from Cobb and the full email Cobb sent. Initially, just the final paragraph was included in the report.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.