Although he is left unnamed and identified only as the president’s personal counsel in the relevant pages of the Mueller Report, the report implicitly indicts and convicts John Dowd of obstruction of justice at page 300. It leaves open the question of whether Dowd did so with Trump’s knowledge or participation. I wrote about the report’s drive-by mugging of Dowd in “Mueller dings Dowd.”
The report smears Dowd, we now know, by means of a deceptively edited voicemail message left by Dowd with Flynn counsel Robert Kelner. Following an order promulgated by Judge Emmet Sullivan in Flynn’s case, prosecutors filed the full transcript of the voicemail message with the court on Friday.
By the way, although they filed the full transcript of the voicemail message with the court this past Friday, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice have declined to comply fully with Judge Sullivan’s order. Like Bartleby, they would prefer not to.
Sean Hannity invited Dowd on for a short segment on his FOX News show last night. Dowd shared the segment with Alan Dershowitz. Given the brevity of the segment, Hannity talked too much and Dowd too little. Moreover, Dershowitz had nothing of substance to add and neither Hannity nor Dershowitz reflected on what Mueller has really done to Dowd. Focused on the voicemail message by itself, they overlooked the misconduct of which Dowd stands convicted in the report. In his parting shot, however, Dowd got around to it.
At Mediaite Josh Feldman has posted the segment here. I did my best to transcribe Dowd’s two comments myself.
First, Dowd commented on the editing of the voicemail message in the report:
Well, I had an obligation as counsel to the president to find out what was going on and I’m so glad Judge Sullivan ordered the transcript because we now know the truth and we also know that this entire report by Mueller is a fraud and we’re going to find more of these things. Isn’t it ironic that this man who kept indicting and prosecuting people for process crimes committed a false statement in his own report? By taking out half my words they changed the [garbled], the tenor, and the contents of that conversation with Robert Kelner. And it’s an outrage and there’s probably more of it.
Then Dowd responded to the gravamen of the charge implicitly made against him in the report:
Sean, they not only went after Donald Trump. They went after his lawyers. I mean that paragraph that they put out in that [fraud?] is a smear of me and my reputation. And when I used to be a prosecutor, if anyone made an allegation about a lawyer and what he was doing and that he was crossing the line, I’d call the lawyer and talk to him. Now I met with Mueller and [James] Quarles the whole time. They never said a word to me. Instead they pulled this ambush in their report.
There needs to be some accounting for what happened here. The first step is fully understanding what the report does to Dowd.