Trump’s lawyer takes credit for risky Flynn tweet

DCNFJack Crowe, DCNF

Attorney John Dowd (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, claimed responsibility for the president’s Friday tweet, in which he said national security advisor Michael Flynn’s false statements to the FBI caused his firing.

Dowd told Axios he drafted the tweet and passed it to White House social media director Dan Scavino. Dowd said the tweet, which critics allege implicates Trump in obstructing justice, was his “mistake” and jokingly noted that he is “out of the tweeting business” and “did not mean to break news.”

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

Dowd pushed back against claims the tweet represented evidence of obstruction, saying “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.”

Flynn pled guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and revealed that he is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s implication that he was aware of Flynn’s false statements prompted the assertion that the tweet amounts to an admission of obstruction of justice given former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony that Trump asked him to scale back the investigation into Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, asked Trump pointedly if he was admitting to obstruction of justice in a biting Friday tweet.

Former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub also issued a harsh assessment of Trump’s tweet.

California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu responded to the tweet by flatly accusing the president of obstruction of justice.

Comey testified in June that Trump approached him in February and asked that he discontinue the investigation into Flynn’s calls with Kislyak.

Comey recounted in his written testimony a February 14 conversation where Trump said: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

“I replied only that ‘he is a good guy,” Comey wrote of the private Oval office meeting that took place one day after Flynn was fired.

“I did not say I would ‘let this go,’” Comey added.

Flynn was fired from the Trump campaign in February after it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak.

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