The legal team representing Donald Trump took a major hit on Thursday. His lead attorney, John Dowd, has reportedly resigned. This was the part of Trump’s defense that is focused on matters related to the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s connections to Russia. So along with the chaos that is rampant in the Trump White House, his personal legal affairs are similarly falling apart.
What makes this news especially significant is that less than two weeks ago Trump declared that he was happy with his legal team and any reports to the contrary were fake news. Naturally, he committed to that via his Official Presidential Announcement Office, Twitter:
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…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018
In what may be a personal best for Trump, he only lied four times in that tweet. First, the New York Times is not failing. It is enjoying record high subscriptions and revenue. Second, the story is obviously not false, purposely or otherwise. Third, Trump did add a new lawyer – Fox News shill, Joseph DiGenova. And fourth, he apparently wasn’t all that happy with his lawyers, hence the Dowd departure. And that unhappiness was not a recent occurrence. As reported by the Times:
“Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.”
What this tells us is that Trump cannot be trusted when he says that everything is hunky dory and there is no reason to suspect that there will be any changes in his administration. In fact, a Trump claim that someone on his staff has his complete confidence and isn’t going anywhere is the best indicator that he is about to be canned. Just ask former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. If they are smart, Jeff Sessions, H.R. McMaster and John Kelly better have their bags packed.
By the same token, special counsel Robert Mueller should be keenly aware that Trump is aiming for his hide. Never mind the implausible statements from the White House that firing Mueller “is not being considered.” Of course it is. It is very likely the most prominent subject consuming Trump’s limited brain capacity. And as noted above, claims by Trump that somebody’s job is safe are merely precursors to their eventual and humiliating termination.
Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation that will protect Mueller from Trump’s seething wrath. Acting on behalf of the majority of Americans, they have introduced bills that would either require such a termination to be affirmed by a panel of independent judges, or otherwise allow the special counsel to appeal the firing. Republicans have been forthrightly opposing these efforts. Their excuse is always that there is no risk of Mueller being fired because the President says so. But it’s clear that Trump’s word is worthless. And beyond these political concerns, there is the likelihood that firing Mueller would set off a constitutional crisis leading to impeachment.
The changes in Trump’s legal representation are just the latest example of his doing the opposite of what he said he would do. Almost everyone he has fired to date was forewarned by a “heartfelt” affirmation of confidence. Consequently, the GOP ought not to be calmed by Trump’s denials that he might fire Mueller. Quite the opposite, they should recognize that it’s at the top of his agenda. And the protective legislation that Democrats have offered should be passed as quickly as possible. Anything else would be a demonstration of willful ignorance and neglect of their civic duty.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.