In what’s either one of President Trump‘s close confidants choosing to offer himself up as a sacrificial lamb or an eye-opening revelation of who’s behind his Twitter account, ABC News is reporting that Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, is claiming to be the author of that explosive Trump tweet from this Saturday morning.
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump purportedly tweeted. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
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
From ABC News:
The apparent admission by the president — that he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of his firing — seems to add a potentially explosive new dimension to the ongoing special counsel investigation.
If true, why then would Trump ask the FBI director to go easy on Flynn, as former FBI Director James Comey later testified? The message set off renewed talk of potential evidence of obstruction of justice.
But now Dowd, corroborated by a second source familiar with the matter, said the tweet was not drafted by the president himself but rather by the lawyer — and done so in a “sloppy” manner.
Whether true or not, Dowd’s statement clouds the question of whether or not Trump knew that Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of his firing as national security adviser. In its report, ABC News acknowledges that Dowd’s claim, if true, could un-incriminate Trump.
According to The Washington Post, two sources close to the matter confirmed that Dowd was the tweet’s author. In an update to it’s original article the Post reported that “the tweet was authored by Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, according to two people familiar with the situation. The fact that Dowd authored the tweet could limit its salience to the investigation, but the White House still hasn’t publicly corrected anything.”
Not surprisingly, many weren’t buying the story:
As a lawyer, I can confirm that I frequently compose tweets confessing to crimes and send them from my clients’ twitter accounts. It’s the first thing you learn at law school.
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) December 3, 2017
Admittedly my law school days were pre-twitter however the point remains: first thing we learned as 1Ls is always commit to public writing that your client has committed the crime he’s being investigated for. I learned that before I learned where the library was.
— Kendra Petrichor (@kikuandjuju) December 3, 2017
It’s a good way to ensure your client still needs a lawyer.
— Graham Triggs (@grahamtriggs) December 3, 2017
Yes the lawyers do that every day that I work for they want to make sure that our clients go to jail so they can’t pay them😆 joking aside if Trump’s lawyer wrote that tweet he needs to be disbarred or at least have sanctions if he didn’t and he lied about it he also needs to be
— spensergirlFlorida (@spensergirlFLA) December 3, 2017
According to one commenter, even if Dowd wrote the tweet, “Trump would have surely seen, and if he didn’t rescind it, he’s still guilty of agreeing with the fact. No difference than his writing it.”
Update: Doubts about whether or not Dowd is telling the truth are beginning to grow:
ATTENTION: If John Dowd has lied, is lying, or does lie about whether he authored a tweet in which Donald Trump admitted committing a crime, (a) he has himself committed a crime, and (b) he'd be disbarred from legal practice immediately. America needs an answer on this right now. pic.twitter.com/8hRUtK7CXR
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 3, 2017
White House blaming John Dowd for @Potus's "I confess" tweet. I call BS. I know Dowd. Smart as a whip lawyer. He wouldn't give a damn what twitter world thinks of Flynn charges. Thats pure Trump. WH blaming Dowd is transparent attempt 2 hide lie with attorney/client privilege.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 3, 2017
I said yesterday Trump was going walk back that tweet claiming he knew Flynn lied to the FBI. Today his lawyer John Dowd says he wrote it—in error. Says Trump didn’t know that when he fired Flynn.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) December 3, 2017
Trump has tweeted 36,500 times. To the best of my knowledge, yesterday's tweet — the one adding evidence to his possible obstruction of justice — is the first time ever that someone else claimed to write a tweet for him. Just a coincidence?
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 3, 2017
Anyone who buys Trump’s lawyer’s alibi for his corruptly treacherous client is a complete fool. https://t.co/HeYQG3NpJY
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 3, 2017
Featured image via screen grab (YouTube)