DOWD RESIGNS AS TRUMP’S LEAD LAWYER IN MUELLER PROBE
Dowd Resigns As Trump’s Lead Lawyer In Mueller Probe: “He’s Increasingly Ignoring Advice”
In a major development for Mueller’s probe of the Russia-Trump collusion, the New York Times reported on Thursday morning, Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd resigned, just days after the president called for an end to the inquiry.
Moments later, Dowd confirmed his departure to NBC News: “I love the president and wish him well,” Dowd told NBC News.
Dowd’s departure is the most prominent shake-up for the president’s legal team since he took over from the president’s longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz.
As the NYT adds, Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.
Mr. Trump has insisted he should sit for an interview with the special counsel’s office, even though Mr. Dowd believed it was a bad idea.
The NYT also notes that Trump was “said to be pleased with Mr. Dowd’s resignation, as he had grown frustrated with him”, particularly over the weekend when Dowd called on the DOJ to end the special counsel investigation. Dowd said at first that he was speaking for the president, but later backtracked.
The president was angered with Mr. Dowd’s handling of the episode, telling people it was ham-handed and Mr. Dowd should not have backed off his initial statement. Mr. Dowd has told people that the president has recently implored him to stay but was said to be considering quitting on Monday, which he denied in an interview that night.
“I’m sitting here working on the president’s case right now,” he said.
Reportedly President Trump has expressed displeasure with his legal team for weeks. He has met with the veteran Washington lawyer Emmet Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during impeachment, about coming inside the White House to serve as his top lawyer.
Dowd and Sekulow did not know about the meeting at the time, and after The New York Times reported about it, were said to be concerned that their standing with the president had fallen. He tried to reassure them on Twitter.
“Special Council is told to find crimes, whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be Special Council. I am still opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a Special Council appointed because…..
…there was no probable cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice!” So stated by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.
I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also). The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong! Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing…….
…..They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race. Bush tried to get along, but didn’t have the “smarts.” Obama and Clinton tried, but didn’t have the energy or chemistry (remember RESET). PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!
In a statement to The Hill, Sekulow said of Dowd:
“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team. We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of the special counsel.”
The White House position has long been that it will cooperate with the special counsel in hopes of bringing the investigation to a speedy conclusion.
But outside of the White House, Trump’s legal team has been more aggressive.
Dowd’s resignation comes days after Trump hired Joseph diGenova, a longtime Washington lawyer who has pushed the theory that the FBI and Justice Department framed Trump in their push to remove him from office.
DiGenova has fiercely defended Trump in conservative media while attacking the FBI and DOJ. DiGenova has described Comey as the “dirtiest cop in America.”
DiGenova wasn’t expected to take a lead role, but he is expected to be a “more aggressive player on the president’s legal team”, joining in the middle of negotiations with the special counsel over the parameters of a possible interview with the president.
Of note, diGenova’s wife is former Reagan Justice Department official and former chief counsel of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Victoria Toensing – who happens to represent FBI whistleblower William D. Campbell.
It now appears that diGenova will be Trump’s main lawyer on the Mueller probe.
Resources: The Hill, ZeroHedge