In the latest high profile resignation from Donald Trump's inner circle, lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd, quit today for undisclosed reasons. However, if you read between the lines, it is clear that Dowd believes Trump to be an idiot who will almost certainly incriminate himself further in the Russia probe, making his job completely impossible. Reported the New York Times today:
Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice, one of the people said. Mr. Trump has insisted he should sit for an interview with the special counsel’s office, even though Mr. Dowd believed it was a bad idea.
It is not clear who will take over the legal team. Mr. Trump’s other personal lawyer for the investigation, Jay Sekulow, is liked by the president and recently brought on one of his longtime friends, Joseph E. diGenova, to join the team.
Dowd likely understood he was onboard a sinking ship and jumped off before things got even uglier. Trump has a history of incriminating himself -- confessing to firing James Comey because of the Russia probe, admitting publicly that he knew Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, and firing FBI agent Andrew McCabe, a crucial witness in Mueller's investigation for clearly nonsensical reasons.
According to several reports, a newly emboldened Trump believes he can take on Robert Mueller (whom he finally mentioned by name over Twitter), and end the investigation into his collusion with Russia. Of course no one else shares the president's confidence, especially given his kowtowing to Vladimir Putin after the Russian attack on Great Britain, and generally guilty behavior that has even spooked Republicans.
This does not look good for Trump, but then he isn't bright to enough to understand why the constant resignations and public infighting is bad for his prospects going forward. He has a pavlovian response to great television ratings, and little else. As long as Trump is headline news it doesn't matter what it's for. He believes the Russia probe is going to go away, and anyone not onboard with his style of defending (or incriminating) himself is free to leave. Another hack lawyer will take their place, and if they abandon ship, then he'll simply get another one. There is no loyalty in Trump's world, no reason, and no way out other than through humiliation. Those who associate themselves with Trump stand to lose their dignity and their future careers, a high price to pay for five minutes of fame.