Saturday morning, The Daily Beast reached out to John Dowd, who is President Trump’s personal attorney, asking through email for his comment on the firing of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Dowd responded by calling for Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to follow Sessions’s example and bring to an end special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation, saying it was all manufactured by McCabe’s boss, former FBI Director James Comey.
Dowd replied to The Daily Beast by sending a copy of President Trump’s recent tweet: “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
Dowd then included his own statement, which he clarified later to The Daily Beast was his own personal opinion:
“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd then wrote.
When The Daily Beast initially asked Dowd if he was speaking on behalf of the president, he answered, “Yes as his counsel.” After publication of this story, however, Dowd emailed to say he was actually speaking in his personal capacity, and not on the president’s behalf.
Dowd is now being hotly condemned by Democrats for implying that Mueller should be fired, and first stating that he was speaking on behalf of the president, then backtracking.
Reporter Kelly O’Donnell tweeted, “Trump lawyer John Dowd tells me he hopes Deputy AG Rosenstein will end the investigation “on its merits” after McCabe firing. He said he is not calling for the firing of Mueller.”
Trump lawyer John Dowd tells me he hopes Deputy AG Rosenstein will end the investigation “on its merits” after McCabe firing. He said he is not calling for the firing of Mueller.
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) March 17, 2018
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 17, 2018
Democrats have responded on Twitter in a panic, warning that the president and his legal team must not do anything to interfere with Mueller’s investigation, or there will be consequences.
The president, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with, or end the special counsel’s investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans. 2/2
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 17, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 17, 2018
Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now. https://t.co/bg9pVtkdOv
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) March 17, 2018
Trump’s lawyer John Dowd – and Trump himself – are recklessly courting a constitutional crisis with this loose talk of ending the Mueller investigation.
And they know it, which suggests knowledge that the truth is even worse. https://t.co/2spkdu1NmR
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) March 17, 2018
Stunning, but sadly, not surprising. This is an obvious abuse of power. I condemn any effort by 45 and his Administration to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation. https://t.co/ginKaqqudC
— Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) March 17, 2018
Whether or not President Trump’s lawyer will admit it, the President wants to end the Mueller investigation and views it as a witch hunt, even as indictments have continued. The Special Counsel’s investigation must run its course no matter how much the investigated oppose it. https://t.co/2YYW6p9Gfb
— Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) March 17, 2018
Trump’s attorney John Dowd just said Rosenstein should end the Mueller probe. Dowd committed treason by saying it & he should be disbarred for it. He’s speaking for Trump—not himself—for Trump. Trump fired McCabe so Dowd could say this. They conspired to obstruct justice. RESIGN!
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 17, 2018
The key part here is that Dowd said in the email statement that he’s speaking on behalf of the President. So there’s no backtracking on this and saying he’s gone rogue. https://t.co/pzlFdSBQh8
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 17, 2018
This isn’t the first time Dowd has made statements that should lead to bar oversight and discipline. He secretly composed an inculpatory tweet on behalf of a client, and now makes a statement like this as part of his representation of that client. What the hell is wrong with him? https://t.co/CgLm1v0zyM
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 17, 2018
NEW: John Dowd, Trump’s personal lawyer, says Rosenstein should shut down the Mueller probe. https://t.co/69c7JNZDQC
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) March 17, 2018
When I first emailed with Dowd, I asked if he gave me the statement on POTUS’ behalf. His reply: “Yes, as his counsel”
He later emailed me to walk that back.
Story is updated: https://t.co/69c7JNZDQC
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) March 17, 2018