Over the weekend, Donald Trump produced a tweet revealing that he knew former national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI way back at the time of Flynn’s dismissal—and well before Trump pressured then-FBI director James Comey to drop any investigation of Flynn.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
Canny minds—those with two still-connected neurons—immediately pointed out that Trump had just confessed to obstruction. He knew Flynn was guilty and not only covered it up, but tried to stop the FBI from looking further.
At that point, Trump attorney John Dowd wicker-manned himself onto the bonfire, taking credit for writing the tweet under Trump’s name. Considering that the Trump White House has previously stated that Trump’s tweets are official statements, the idea that Trump’s personal attorney, who is not part of the government, could be issuing official presidential statements seemed just as problematic as the original tweet.
And then NBC News asked for a few details on how this happened, and everything got even better.
Dowd told NBC News that he drafted the tweet and then sent it to White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino to publish.
Really? And could Dowd produce that email?
When asked for the original email he sent to Scavino, Dowd said he dictated it orally.
In other words, he lied, about his lie, about his lie. Right, Kellyanne?
Kellyanne Conway says she was with Trump “all day” Saturday and that John Dowd crafted the Flynn tweet and sent it to the “director of social media.”
But of course, this is only one fork in the attempt to keep Donald Trump from suffocating after sticking his own (presumably tiny) foot in his mouth. Dowd has another simultaneous assault on reason underway.
The “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” Dowd claims.
So … Trump didn’t do it, but if he did, then it can’t be obstruction, because he can’t obstruct. But it doesn’t matter, because Dowd did it. By email. Orally. And Kellyanne saw the whole thing.
Other legal experts agree this is no big deal.
As a lawyer, I can confirm that I frequently compose tweets confessing to crimes and send them from my clientsÃ¢ÂÂ twitter accounts. ItÃ¢ÂÂs the first thing you learn at law school.
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) December 3, 2017