- John Dowd, President Donald Trump’s former lead defence lawyer, told ABC News he doesn’t believe the public will get to see the special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report in the Russia investigation.
- “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done,'” he said.
- Trump’s legal team has been saying for months that it will object to the report’s release unless it is allowed to review and correct it before the public sees it.
- Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, also told the Senate Judiciary Committee that if he is confirmed, he will not release the report to the public. Instead, he would release his own summary of Mueller’s findings.
- Barr is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate this week.
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer said he does not believe that the results of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election will be made available to the public.
John Dowd said during an appearance on the ABC News’ podcast “The Investigation” that the Russia probe is “a terrible waste of time,” adding, “I don’t think there’ll be a report.”
“I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done,'” Dowd said.
Dowd served as Trump’s lead defence lawyer in the Russia investigation until last March. While serving as Trump’s lawyer, Dowd publicly called for the investigation to be shut down, characterising it as corrupt and biased against Trump, and he strongly opposed the idea that Trump should testify before Mueller.
“He always likes to talk,” Dowd told INSIDER last year. “Whether it’s wise or not is another question, and it’s not.”
Dowd continued to attack the investigation on Tuesday’s podcast, calling it “one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.”
“And I’m just shocked that Bob Mueller didn’t call it that way and say, ‘I’m being used,'” he said.
It’s long been reported that Mueller is putting together a final report in the Russia probe, but the public timeline of when the report will be completed has shifted over the last few months as new details and indictments came from the special counsel’s office.
Trump’s current legal team, led by the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, has also said it will object to the report’s release unless the White House is allowed to review and correct the report before it becomes public. Giuliani first made the argument in an interview with INSIDER in September.
As prosecutors put together the report, Trump’s current and former lawyers said the information contained in it is protected by executive privilege.
For that reason, they said the White House needs to sign off on the report’s final version in the event that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who is overseeing Mueller – chooses to release it to Congress or the public.
Giuliani told INSIDER that Trump’s team would waive executive privilege if “we had an adequate opportunity to review the report before it was released to the public; if we felt that – even if we disagreed with its findings – it was fair; and if we had the chance to release a rebuttal report simultaneously that addresses all of Mueller’s allegations.”
Giuliani doubled down on his argument in an interview with The Hill last month.
“As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you – so we can correct it if they’re wrong,” Giuliani told the outlet. “They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”
When the report is finished, Mueller will hand it to the attorney general, who would then decide whether to make it public. William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate this week, said during his confirmation hearing that Mueller’s report would not be made public. Instead, he told lawmakers, the public would see his own summary of the special counsel’s findings.
“Under the current regulations, the special counsel report is confidential, and the report that goes public would be a report by the attorney general,” Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.
“I don’t know, at the end of the day, what will be releasable,” he added. “I don’t know what Bob Mueller is writing.”
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