In the court of public opinion, most Americans are rolling their eyes and laughing at Donald Trump after he accidentally confessed to felony obstruction of justice on Twitter, and then tried to cover for it by claiming that his own attorney wrote the tweet on his behalf. It turns out this nonsensically untrue explanation goes far beyond simply making Trump look foolish in the eyes of the public. Legal experts are now pointing to Trump having accidentally waived attorney-client privilege in the process.
Political reporter David Shuster put it this way on Twitter: “Legal experts: The ‘my lawyer wrote my tweet defense’ could erase attorney-client privilege and enable prosecutors to interview DT lawyer.” Attorney Mark Zaid then added more context: “It’s not entirely the writing of the tweet that raises legal privilege issues – as lawyers we write client statements all the time. It’s more that he now revealed that fact, which normally would require client permission, that could cause a waiver & open him to questioning. Fun!”
So now Donald Trump’s penchant for reckless Twitter rants has not only forced him to come up with an absurd excuse with little chance of getting him off the legal hook, it looks like that excuse will force his attorney to testify against him. Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway is claiming that witnessed the tweet being written, and she’s vouching for Trump’s story. She’s also dragged Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino into it. If it can be proven that she’s lying, she could be facing criminal charges herself.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s errant tweet is causing even more trouble for those in his orbit. He unwittingly revealed that he knew Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time he asked the FBI to let him off the hook. This has placed White House Counsel Don McGahn in an impossible situation, because he was the one who informed Trump that Flynn had lied to the FBI in the first place. McGahn is now incredibly claiming that because he failed to explicitly explain to Trump that lying to the FBI is a crime, Trump didn’t know Flynn had committed a crime. At this point Trump is relying on a stupidity defense.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report