Trump Lawyer John Dowd Calls for End of Mueller Probe 'on the Merits' - NBC New York
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Trump Lawyer John Dowd Calls for End of Mueller Probe 'on the Merits'

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FBI Deputy Director Fired Two Days Before Retirement

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was a regular target of President Donald Trump's anger and criticism.

    (Published Saturday, March 17, 2018)

    After former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired late Friday, President Donald Trump's outside personal attorney said Saturday that he hopes the deputy attorney general will now bring an end to the special counsel's Russia investigation "on the merits in light of recent revelations."

    "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," John Dowd told NBC News.

    Dowd asserted that he doesn't mean to suggest the special counsel, Robert Mueller, should be fired but that the decision to end the probe be based "on the merits."

    Dowd's sentiments of the Russia investigation seemed to be in line with Trump's Saturday tweets in response to McCabe's ousting:"The 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!"

    Trump Responds to Putin Summit Criticism

    [NATL] Trump Responds to Putin Summit Criticism

    President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he misspoke during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Trump said he does "accept" the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Trump also said he needed to clarify that he didn't see a reason why the meddling "wouldn't be Russia." Trump had said the opposite a day earlier, prompting bipartisan backlash.

    (Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018)

    Trump also wrote: "Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!"

    Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's vice chair, urged his colleagues on Twitter to protect Mueller, writing in response to Dowd's statement, "Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now."

    Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer also warned of Dowd's comments, saying they "are yet another indication that the first instinct of the president and his legal team is not to cooperate with Special Counsel Mueller, but to undermine him at every turn."

    He continued: "The president, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with, or end the special counsel's investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans."

    McCabe's end-of-the-week dismissal was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials. An upcoming inspector general's report is expected to conclude that McCabe authorized the release of information to the media and was not forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

    "The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability," Sessions said in a statement.

    Did Trump Deny Russia Is Still Targeting US? New Dispute Over ‘No’

    [NATL] Did Trump Deny Russia Is Still Targeting US? New Dispute Over ‘No’

    Asked at the White House if Russia is still targeting the United States, President Donald Trump appeared to say “no.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later that Trump was saying “no” to answering questions.

    (Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018)

    However, McCabe said his credibility had been attacked as "part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally" but also the FBI and law enforcement. 

    "It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day," he added, referring to Mueller's probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. "Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel's work."

    McCabe asserted he was singled out because of the "role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey," whom Trump fired as FBI director last May. 

    Mueller is investigating whether Trump's actions, including Comey's ouster, constitute obstruction of justice. McCabe, a Comey confidant, could be an important witness.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.