President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should shut down the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
“Just end it on the merits in light of recent revelations,’’ Dowd said in an emailed statement on Saturday, referring to the investigation led by Special Counsel Bob Mueller.
Dowd said Rosenstein should follow in the footsteps of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe late Friday based on internal assessments that McCabe lacked candor on multiple occasions.
“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,” Dowd wrote.
Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s probe, has previously said he sees no reason to fire Mueller or curtail the investigation. Trump praised the firing of McCabe in an overnight tweet, and has repeatedly called the Russia probe a “witch hunt.’’
In a follow-up email, Dowd said he was speaking for himself, and not on behalf of the president.
President Trump later tweeted, “As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign,” but said there was “tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State.”
Dowd’s statement was reported earlier by the Daily Beast, which said that Dowd indicated that he was speaking on behalf of Trump in his capacity as the president’s personal lawyer.
The statement represents a shift from Trump’s legal team’s previous commitment to fully cooperate with Mueller. Trump’s lawyers have asserted that the president’s campaign didn’t collude with the Russian government, and previously predicted that the probe would be complete by now.
And while Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, Dowd’s statement draws a clear link between the decision by Sessions to fire McCabe and the probe by Mueller. McCabe, who was fired just hours before he was set to retire, said his dismissal was a result of Trump’s effort to to interfere with Mueller’s probe.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have warned Trump of stark repercussions if he moves to dismiss Mueller.
Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, said on Twitter in response to Dowd’s statement, ‘“Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now.”