It all started with this tweet.
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
We can see a couple of things here. It was sent out from @realDonaldTrump’s personal account (he has another account, @POTUS, that various members of his administration post to). Which means that whoever posted has to have access to Trump’s password.
It contains an admission against penal interest, because he admits to knowing Flynn lied to the FBI before he spoke to Comey and tried to obstruct the investigation.
In other words, it was a mistake. A big mistake.
A few hours later, John Dowd, one of the President’s personal lawyers, told ABC that he was the person who wrote the tweet. He called it “sloppy.”
Dowd then made this bizarre statement to Axios:
You can read all of Dowd’s statements and reach your own conclusions as to what he’s trying to say, but this sentence got my attention:
So it looks like the story now is that Dowd drafted the tweet without consulting with Trump, without considering whether it contained an admission, and sent it to Scavino, who then published it as a statement from Trump, again without showing it to Trump. “Sloppy” is far too charitable a term.
Did Dowd invent the statements? Seems hardly likely. Trump must have told him that he fired Flynn because Flynn lied to Pence and to the FBI. We do know that after firing Flynn, he tried to persuade FBI Director Comey to “go easy” on Flynn. As I discussed in a previous article, this act constitutes obstruction of justice. Others agree.
Is Trump better off if the tweet was drafted by Dowd? Not really. Dowd has now violated the attorney-client privilege by publishing a statement made by Trump.o
I agree with this statement by Ian Millhiser.
Just so we’re clear, a vetted statement drafted by counsel that admits to a crime is MUCH MORE INCRIMINATING than a tweet tossed off by a suspect with a well-known reputation for saying things that aren’t true.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) December 3, 2017
Finally, Walter Shaub puts the nail in the coffin.
The bottom line is that Dowd fell on his quill pen for nothing. He has now committed malpractice and made himself a witness against his own client.
Quite a day’s work.
Grace Lidia Suarez (@gracels) is a retired criminal defense lawyer with way too much time on her hands (witness her near quarter million tweets) who’s been seen in San Francisco and You Bet California. Her views are undeniably her own, and she will pay the price one day.