Conflict and Insecurity Are Rattling Trump’s Legal Team
Yesterday I wrote about Joe diGenova, the attorney Trump spotted on Fox News, spewing the kind of tinfoil hat idiocy that the Fox News/MAGA train crowd feeds on.
According to diGenova, the FBI and Justice Department plotted to help Hillary win, and if she did not win the 2016 election, to frame Donald Trump with a made-up crime.
I mean, by reopening a corruption case against Hillary weeks before the election, it had to be an ingenious plot, with so many twists and turns that the normal mind cannot fully grasp the complexity.
Even Hillary’s team and her supporters blamed James Comey and the FBI for ruining her chances, but, little did they conceive of this cleverly executed plan to get her to the White House.
The last sentence of the piece I wrote yesterday was:
The test will be in seeing how well diGenova’s strategy gels with that of the rest of Trump’s legal team.
That strategy being to take the muzzle off and “let Trump be Trump.”
I think we’ve already got a clue, according to a piece from the Washington Examiner.
Let’s begin with John Dowd, the Trump team attorney who stepped in it this past weekend, by suggesting the time was right to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and shut down his investigation.
Dowd at first said he was speaking on behalf of his client, Trump, but later backpedaled and said he was only speaking for himself.
With the addition of diGenova, the reports are that Dowd is “outraged.”
The hiring of diGenova was perceived by Dowd as removing him from the top of Trump’s legal team and comes as trust in Dowd is shrinking from those close to Trump, sources told the Washington Post.
According to one outside adviser, Dowd is the “weakest link” on the legal team.
So maybe he thinks he’s about to be tossed?
Was Dowd ever considered to be the top of the legal team? The fact that he thought so might ruffle a few feathers.
Meanwhile, there are other frictions on the team, as far as how to move forward.
White House attorney Ty Cobb and White House counsel Don McGahn have been at odds. Cobb has encouraged Trump to cooperate with the special counsel and provide documents, but McGahn has urged the legal team to take a more defensive approach and wait for Mueller to issue subpoenas, and justify each interview and request for information.
Further, reports are that McGahn is mentally exhausted from babysitting the overgrown child in the Oval Office. While Trump is grumbling about hiring different counsel, McGahn hopes to hang in there long enough for another Supreme Court seat to open up, in order to have some say in who gets nominated.
The hiring of diGenova comes shortly after Trump denied he was frustrated with his legal team and would not expand.
“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,” Trump tweeted earlier this month. “I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job.”
And of course, as soon as Trump tweets his protest, he does something to prove them right.
To date, we know Mueller’s team have issued subpoenas, submitted written questions for Trump’s legal team to consider, and very recently, have sat face-to-face with Trump’s team to discuss a possible interview with the president.
Now we wait to see if the varying factions of Team Trump can hold it together long enough to work through what’s on their plate and get their client over.