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Trump’s lawyer says it’s time to end the Russia investigation

John Dowd, Trump’s personal lawyer, said in an email that Rod Rosenstein should follow Jeff Sessions’s lead on firing Andrew McCabe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller briefs the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in June 2017.
Special counsel Robert Mueller briefs the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in June 2017.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

John Dowd, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is calling for the Russia probe to be shut down and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to be ended. In an email to Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast on Saturday, Dowd said he hopes that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will follow the “brilliant and courageous example” set by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in firing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday.

Dowd initially said he was speaking on behalf of the president, in his capacity as the president’s attorney — though he later walked that back, saying he was speaking in his personal capacity and not on the president’s behalf.

Dowd was responding to an email for comment about McCabe’s firing. He replied with the text of the president’s late Friday tweet on the subject, and celebrated the ouster as a “great day for Democracy.” He wrote that Rosenstein should take a cue from Sessions and get rid of Mueller:

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.

Sessions recused himself from matters related to the 2016 campaign, which means Rosenstein is overseeing Mueller’s probe and is the one with the ability to fire the special counsel.

Dowd also included an annotated version of a line from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a Tennessee Williams play:

“What’s that smell in this room[Bureau}? Didn’t you notice it, Brick [Jim]? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room[Bureau}?... There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity[corruption]... You can smell it. It smells like death.” Tennessee Williams — ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Trump has been flirting with publicly calling for Mueller to be fired for a while, but he won’t quite go there.

Trump has publicly and privately expressed anger at Sessions over his recusal from the case of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and he has engaged in a sustained attack against Sessions, the FBI, and the Justice Department. The president told NBC News he fired FBI Director James Comey, in part, because of the Russia probe, which he said is a “made up story.” The New York Times reported in January that Trump attempted to order Mueller be fired last June but backed down after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign over the matter.

“Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now,” Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) said on Twitter on Saturday.

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) said in a tweet that “every representative should condemn this flagrant abuse of power or stop pretending devotion to duty.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in January that if Trump were to fire Mueller it would be “the end of President Trump’s presidency.”

Dowd’s email comes just two days after a New York Times report that Mueller has subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization, including some related to Russia.

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