News & Politics

Trump Attorney: Mueller Investigation Was a 'Terrible Waste of Time'

Attorney John Dowd (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

President Trump’s former lead attorney says the special counsel investigation has been “a terrible waste of time” that will probably end with no report. What’s more, he said Special Counsel Robert Mueller told him the president was not a target almost a year ago (which is something the country should have been told well before the midterm elections).

Meanwhile, both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday revealed that after two years and 200 interviews they have uncovered precisely zero evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” John Dowd said during an interview on ABC News’ “The Investigation.”

“I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done,’” he added.

Known for his cantankerous demeanor and aggressive legal tactics, Dowd is a former Marine and a veteran of high profile Washington investigations and legal disputes. He helped clear Arizona Sen. John McCain’s name during a 1989 corruption scandal, known as Keating Five, involving improper influence on behalf of the savings and loan industry. And he led the Major League Baseball investigation that resulted in a lifetime ban for Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose.

Trump brought Dowd in to lead his legal defense team one month after the president fired FBI Director James Comey and Mueller was subsequently appointed to serve as the special counsel overseeing the widening probe into Russian interference.

The attorney said he had respected Mueller’s investigation up until about March of 2018. By then, it was clear that the president wasn’t a target of the investigation, but it looked like the special counsel was intent on hanging a process crime on him instead.

“In my opinion, on March 5th, we were done. He had everything. He said he had everything. He told me that no one had lied. He told me they had every document we asked for,” Dowd said. “He told me that it was nothing more. He told me that the president was not a target. That is, he did not have any exposure, that he was a witness subject, which is perfectly normal for someone’s conduct you’re looking at, but they don’t have exposure.”

The attorney said that an interview with the special counsel would be perilous for a guy like Trump because he has “too much information” in his life.

“I mean, the amount of information that he intakes every day, gets prepared for, is staggering. And in my questioning him or talking to him, he questioned — you know, first question, easy. Second question, easy. Third question, he wasn’t sure,” Dowd explained.  “And he doesn’t like being unsure. So he’ll guess. There’s your trap, right there. It’s not whether he lies or not. Everybody wants to get into this, you know — this integrity business. It’s not a matter of integrity. It’s overload.”

He noted that after seeing the special counsel charge other Trump witnesses with process crimes he couldn’t subject the president to an interview with Mueller.

“Because Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, I mean, look what Bob’s doing — what I call nickel-dime process crimes,” he explained. “I mean, I ran a strike force. I ran big corruption cases. I didn’t go around picking scabs and just making any case I could make. If there was a petty case, I shifted it to someone else. I didn’t do it. And that’s where I disagree with Bob.”

“I know exactly what [Mueller] has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is,” he said, describing the sweeping efforts by Trump’s legal team to assess the case by speaking to dozens of witnesses. Based on that knowledge, Dowd said, “there’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”

Dowd left his role as Trump’s lead attorney last March, but he continues to have a close relationship with the president and speaks with him about the Russia probe.