One of President Donald Trump’s former attorneys has claimed that, despite the president’s public attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller during the course of the Russian collusion investigation, he and Mueller were actually somewhat “chummy” behind the scenes.
Not “chummy” in the sense that they were friends but rather in the sense that they weren’t enemies. How so? Even as the president was busy on Twitter decrying the special counsel’s investigation on Twitter as a “witch hunt,” he was busy likewise ensuring that the White House complied with all of Mueller’s requests, according to former Trump attorney John M. Dowd.
Why all the public attacks then? Because of politics, Dowd, who worked with Trump from June 2017 til March 2018, explained in podcast interviews this week and last week with Washington Examiner columnist Byron York. And stunningly enough, Mueller allegedly didn’t mind.
New podcast: Part II of interview with former Trump lawyer John Dowd. Mueller, Manafort, Sessions, Rosenstein, collusion, tweets, privilege, the press, and more… https://t.co/AxdBt5I6cl
— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 4, 2019
“Bob understood this, it was political,” he said. “[Trump] had to handle the political side, and that was his way of doing it with his tweets and his comments.”
“Bob was a big boy about the political side of it. He understood the president had to address the politics of it. He couldn’t just say nothing. People were pounding him about this thing every day, both privately and publicly, and he had to take [Mueller] on.”
Granted, when the president’s public trash-talking first began, the special counsel worried that the White House wouldn’t cooperate with his requests. But that worry turned out to be unwarranted.
“I said, well we’ve encouraged everyone to cooperate, and if you want me to say something publicly about that, and the president, we’re happy to do it. And we did. We encouraged everyone who was asked to cooperate … Bob was satisfied with that. It never came up again,” Dowd said.
And if anything, Mueller has had nothing but praise for the Trump White house since.
According to Dowd, the special counselor has “acknowledged that all the witnesses told the truth, all the documents were there, there was nothing missing, no documents destroyed.”
The interview is obviously one-sided, coming as it does from the Trump side. But it is nonetheless highly revealing. Take the time to listen. If you are at all fair-minded, you will learn a lot. https://t.co/vmvAD3NhUR
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 30, 2019
If this is true — it’s obviously a one-sided narrative, as noted by Brit Hume of Fox News — it completely invalidates the Democrat- and media-touted narrative that the president obstructed justice.
Speaking of the media that spent nearly two years pushing spurious “bombshell” after spurious “bombshell” about Mueller’s investigation, the special counsel was aware of the their bad habit and had therefore devised a system to keep Trump abreast of the actual truth.
According to York, Dowd specifically “described a tacit arrangement in which Mueller’s office signaled to Trump’s lawyers when a major press report was wrong.”
For instance, during the summer of 2017, Bloomberg published a report claiming that the special counsel was expanding his investigation to also cover the president’s business transactions. Though Trump suspected it was false, he had Dowd check with Mueller just in case.
“So I had to go by [Mueller’s] office to drop something off, and we met outside,” Dowd explained. “And he said, in code, don’t believe everything you read in the papers. I said, I got it, OK, and I could then say [to the president] I talked to the special counsel and there was no basis for it. But I already knew, because I knew their word was good. But I couldn’t get the press to accept it. They were off on their own toot.”
The same media seem to be having great difficulty believing these new claims.
Whoa, if true. POTUS lawyer Dowd tells @ByronYork Mueller gave Trump a back-channel wink when news stories weren’t right (which would mean Mueller was tacitly acknowledging what was true). Same reason Pete Rose couldn’t just-sometimes bet on his own team. pic.twitter.com/ZNq2FY1vin
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) April 4, 2019
Given what Dowd claims happened, he’s at a loss as to why Mueller left the obstruction of justice question up for debate instead of just resolving it.
“How could you possibly think this guy obstructed when he was so cooperative?” he asked.
Because the special counsel made no ruling on obstruction of justice, Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were forced to issue their own ruling.
After reviewing the evidence for three weeks, the two ruled that the president hadn’t obstructed justice. Democrats and their media allies refuse to accept this ruling and have demanded Mueller’s report be published in full so that they can reach their own conclusions.
They suspect the report contains information that will somehow, someway prove that Trump really did obstruct justice or really did collude with Russian operatives.
Dowd doesn’t appear to believe that’s likely.
“It’s probably the biggest fraud ever committed against the people of the United States,” he said of the lengthy 674-day Russian collusion investigation.
It’s possible. In fact, some conservatives strongly believe that, if anything, the contents of Mueller’s actual report will be most damaging to Democrats, not the president.
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