Today, John Dowd, one of several attorneys working on Mr. Trump’s legal team has resigned as was speculated by many. With reports of Trump’s disaffection with his legal team coupled with reports of his taking advice from more non-traditional individuals such as Fox News personality, Judge Jean Pirro. Fox news opinion personalities have urged Trump to simply “stop talking about the Russia investigation,” with more vocal personalities, such as Pirro telling Trump how he ought to proceed.
If there is one thing we have all learned about Mr. Donald J.Trump it is this: His word is meaningless and he has no credibility. That is a worrisome and discomfiting attribute to have as the leader of the free world. Added to this however, is Trump’s confidence in himself and his own friends while ignoring of his advisers. This does not bode well for us in this nation.
Last week, it was reported by multiple sources that Mr. Trump was going to shake up his legal team, due to his belief that the team had not been effectively handling the investigation conducted by Special Counsel, Robert Mueller into Russia interfering with our 2016 presidential election. Central to Mr. Trump’s dissatisfaction were the several promises made to him regarding when that investigation would end with his legal team assuring him the investigation would conclude by last Thanksgiving, then by the end of the year, and then again, early this year. This was a promise that should not have ever been made.
For his part, when the news was reported about Mr. Trump wanting to shake up his legal team, he responded in traditional fashion. This is what he had to say about the matter, merely one week ago:
“The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and…..”
The New York Times piece, Mr. Trump references in the above Tweet, is a piece by Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt reporting how Trump met with former Bill Clinton lawyer; Emmet T. Flood. At that time, it was merely reported that Trump had met with Flood and how his advisers had “reached out to prominent lawyers to feel out their interest in joining his legal team.” Most had “expressed no interest.”
For a failing publication, The New York Times appears to be quite accurate in their reporting of the chaos and events surrounding this presidency. This is precisely why Mr. Trump has next to no credibility, if he has any at all. He has no issue with news organizations when they cover him in a positive light, but merely refers to these same organizations as “fake” when they provide accurate reporting which casts the administration in a negative light.
The Washington Post reports the most recent prominent attorney Trump has reached out to is one of “the country’s most high-profile and seasoned litigators,” Ted Olson, who also declined joining Trump’s legal team.
With Trump trusting his friends over his actual legal team, coupled with his now surrounding himself with those people who agree with him and his worldview, very well may place him in further legal jeopardy.
Consider John Dowd’s admonishment to Rod Rosenstein after Federal Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe was terminated. Dowd’s statement of encouraging Rosenstein to bring the investigation to a conclusion represents Trump’s approach when he said:
“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier.”
Originally thought to be a reflection of Mr. Trump’s general and overall feeling towards the Russia investigation, Dowd pulled back his remarks clarifying how his statement was his personal view. Whether this will make Dowd a potential witness in the Mueller probe remains to be seen, especially since Dowd is on record making a statement of his own, while stating his admonishment did not come at the behest of Trump, therefore placing the statement beyond the bounds of attorney-client privilege.
“With what is being categorized now as a mutual departure, Dowd had no comment other than stating “he loves the President,” at the time of this report.
Words matter, folks. Credibility matters.
If Mr. Trump cannot be forthright on such a simple matter as this, going out of his way to attack the media who arguably printed the story accurately, how shall we as a nation take him at his word on far graver matters, such as issues of national security, or our need to go to war? The short answer is we can’t.
Legal scholars and judges for years have said “that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.” With Trump relying on personal friends and his own instincts for these decisions certainly places him in that category.
However, if we were to take Trump at his word on any matter these days, a man who is the most prolific liar as President, would make us the fools.
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!