In a stunning confession, president Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd, took responsibility on Sunday for a tweet that Trump sent on Saturday claiming he knew his former security adviser, Michael Flynn, had lied to the FBI before he fired him in February:
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
The tweet clearly implies that Trump knew Flynn had committed the crime of lying to the FBI. We know that Trump told FBI director James Comey to not investigate Flynn the day after the firing, before firing Comey three months later. The tweet is also an explicit admission of Trump interfering with the FBI’s investigation — if he knew Flynn was lying and didn’t inform the FBI, this is clearly tantamount to obstruction of justice.
But then Dowd has now stepped in claiming he was responsible for the tweet, giving NBC News the least likely explanation ever:
Dowd told NBC News that he drafted the tweet and then sent it to White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino to publish. When asked for the original email he sent to Scavino, Dowd said he dictated it orally.
“I’m out of the tweeting business,” Dowd said with a chuckle. “I did not mean to break news.”
There are only two possible ways of interpreting and responding to this calamitous cock-up:
1. If Trump wrote the tweet, he is publicly admitting obstruction of justice and should be impeached immediately.
2. If Trump’s lawyer wrote the tweet without Trump’s permission and had it sent out to the president’s 44 million followers, then we now have no way of telling discerning what Trump’s official position is on anything, or who is in charge of the country. If Trump’s personal lawyer is now speaking for the president without his permission and representing official US policy, then we are no longer living in a democracy. This means Trump must be removed from office immediately.
The truth is that Trump almost certainly crafted and sent the disastrous tweet, and Dowd is lying through his teeth to protect his boss. Trump is too stupid to understand the consequences of his actions, and given his current mental state believes he can say or do whatever he wants. Whether or not the tweet reflects the truth is irrelevant — if Trump says he fired Flynn for lying to the FBI and then didn’t tell the FBI about it, he must be taken at his word. He is the President of the United States and his word must be taken at face value. Dowd has now now claimed that the president “Cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case.” Firstly, this isn’t true, and secondly if Dowd’s claim is not a direct admission of guilt, then it’s not clear what is.
As the Mueller probe continues gathering momentum, the White House will be forced into yet deeper crisis mode as they try to stop Trump from incriminating himself on a daily basis. The more they try to stop him or cover for him, the angrier he’ll get and the more outbursts we’re likely to see.
This is just the beginning, and it’s not looking good for the president or anyone else around him.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.