Mar 22, 2018
Just days after calling on the Justice Department to kill special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, John Dowd--President Donald Trump's personal attorney and the lead lawyer handling Mueller's probe--resigned on Thursday after reportedly concluding that the president "was increasingly ignoring his advice."
"I love the president and wish him well," Dowd said in his parting statement.
According to the Washington Post, Dowd's resignation comes following weeks of heated disputes with the president over legal stategy.
"Dowd's departure was a largely mutual decision made after the president lost confidence in his ability to handle [Mueller's] investigation and Dowd became frustrated with Trump's recent efforts to bring on new attorneys," the Post reported on Thursday, citing anonymous White House officials.
On Saturday, Dowd sparked national uproar by calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "bring an end" to Mueller's probe in a statement to The Daily Beast.
Dowd initially told The Daily Beast that he was speaking on Trump's behalf in his capacity as the president's attorney. But shortly after the outlet published its story, Dowd walked this claim back, insisting that he was only speaking for himself.
Hours after Dowd's statement went public, Trump directly attacked Mueller for the first time in a series of tweets on Saturday and Sunday, intensifying fears that he could be moving closer to firing the special counsel.
\u201cThe Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1521308061
\u201cWhy does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1521376542
The combination of Dowd's remarks and Trump's tweet-storm prompted advocacy groups to warn that "we are at the highest level of alert in months" and to reissue calls to take to the streets if Mueller is terminated.
"By firing Mueller, the president would trigger a full-fledged constitutional crisis by asserting that he is above the law," the advocacy group March for Truth declared in an email to supporters on Sunday. "The hours following the firing will determine whether he is proved right."
At a press briefing on Thursday morning, just prior to Dowd's announcement, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee also warned the president against any attempt to fire Mueller or undermine the investigation.
\u201cWe are seeing the president consistently try to undermine the #Mueller investigation. We cannot allow this. \nhttps://t.co/WwdnEZMEM8\u201d— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal) 1521727703
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