President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that he hopes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference.
Reached for comment by email about the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Dowd sent The Daily Beast the text of Trump’s most recent tweet on the subject, which applauded the dismissal.
“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.
In making the statement, a senior member of Trump’s legal team joins the calls from his base to end the probe. As late as mid-December, another Trump lawyer, Ty Cobb, had brushed aside talk of stopped Mueller’s investigation, stressing that there was “no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel.” The president himself has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt,” but has not publicly urged Rosenstein to shutter it.
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.
Evidently, to see the firing of McCabe as obstruction of justice rather than a reflection of sincere concern about the FBI’s mistreatment of Hillary Clinton would be the most neoliberal McCarthyism imaginable.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appears to directly violate the promise he made, under oath, to recuse himself from such matters.
Some might contend that Sessions’ recusal covered only the Clinton and Trump campaigns, and that McCabe’s firing involved the Clinton Foundation investigation as a separate matter. But Sessions unequivocally assured senators of his intentions during his confirmation hearings in response to a clear and specific question from the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Sen. Grassley asked a follow-up question that went right to the point. In response, Sessions very clearly said his recusal would cover any matters involving the Clinton Foundation.