Early on Saturday, Donald Trump finally publicly addressed the fact that Michael Flynn cut a plea deal against him. He posted a panicked tweet explaining why he fired Flynn, and in the process he accidentally admitted that he committed obstruction of justice. Observers were left stunned that Trump had posted something so risky and self incriminating without running it past his attorneys first. Now Trump is incredibly claiming his attorney wrote the tweet.
Trump tweeted “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!” For the first time he admitted that he knew all along that Flynn had lied to the FBI, which is a felony. This meant Trump committed obstruction of justice when he asked FBI Director James Comey to let Flynn off the hook. Legal and political experts all agreed that Trump had just flat-out confessed to a felony.
Now Trump’s White House is making the laugh-out-loud claim that Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd actually wrote the tweet in question. This is impossible. Trump’s attorneys have consistently demonstrated their incompetence, but there is not an attorney in the world who would have been dumb enough to write a tweet like this. Any first year law student would have understood that this tweet was a confession of a felony. In addition, no attorney would have written “pled guilty” when the uniformly accepted legal term is “pleaded guilty.” So Dowd clearly did not write this tweet; Trump did. The question is why Trump is suddenly pretending that Dowd in particular wrote it.
Some were expecting Donald Trump to falsely blame this tweet on a random staffer. Perhaps he couldn’t find one who was willing to take the rap for something so legally dicey, so instead Trump decided to pin it on an attorney who’s on his personal payroll. If John Dowd goes along with pretending he wrote the tweet, he could potentially be guilty of trying to cover up his client’s crime.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report