IN the ever-changing, always fascinating and often barmy world of the White House, more and more focus is shifting on to John M Dowd, the senior private legal adviser to President Donald Trump.

At the beginning of last month, a message supposedly written by the President on his Twitter account seemed to implicate Trump in possible obstruction of justice over former national security adviser General Mike Flynn, who was sacked last February and who

has now pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” the tweet says. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

If that statement is true, it contradicts what Trump and the White House were maintaining at the time that Flynn was sacked – that he was only guilty of misleading Vice-President Mike Pence about speaking to Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

The tweet thereby raised the question of when Trump knew about Flynn's lies to the FBI, and whether that knowledge influenced the President’s decision in May to sack FBI director James Comey in the midst of the investigation into the links between Russia and Trump’s campaign team that is now being carried out by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. Trump has denied ever pressurising Comey to stop the investigation.

Step forward Dowd, who said that the tweet on December 2 was written by him. How he got a hold of The Donald’s precious Twitter account is not known.

Dowd claimed that the “lying to the FBI” part of the statement was not known when Flynn was sacked but only emerged last month when Flynn pleaded guilty and said he was co-operating with the special prosecutor.


SOME legal and constitutional experts in the US think that an accusation of obstructing justice might be the only way to remove Trump from office before his term is up. It remains to be seen exactly when the White House knew that Flynn lied to the FBI, but that detail could be very damaging for Trump if it is proven that he kept Flynn in office after learning of his lies to the FBI.

It all blew up again yesterday when Trump tweeted that it was time for the Department of Justice to “act” on Comey and others, including Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin who allegedly broke security protocols.

Comey is set to be the star witness should the special prosecutor ever put the President in the dock, and even among Trump’s own supporters last night there was some degree of disbelief at a call for a potential witness to be “acted” on.


HE is a lawyer of many years’ standing who is famous in the baseball-obsessed US for the Dowd Report into the scandal which ended the career of the truly great record-setting baseball player and manager Pete Rose. Rose was expelled from the sport for betting on matches, including some on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds. He denied it at first but later admitted that Dowd had been right and that he had bet on games.

Dowd, 76, has been a lawyer for more than 50 years. He started with the US Marine Corps’ Judge Advocate General’s Corps – the same division that features in the film A Few Good Men – before becoming a trial attorney for the Department of Justice, where he rose to prominence by investigating corrupt FBI officials and organised crime.

He later went into private law and has his own practice in Washington DC.


HE is regularly rated in the highest ranks of American lawyers and is in the American Who’s Who. On his website it states: “Mr Dowd is noted for his successful representation of a US district judge, a former US attorney, two US senators and a senior member of the US House of Representatives. In addition, he successfully represented the governor of Arizona in a lengthy, high-profile criminal trial.”


DOWD is a very good man for Trump to have in his corner, especially because the lawyer believes, and says he can prove, that no president can be charged with obstruction of justice for making comments on cases or even sacking the FBI director.

Interestingly, according to a report in the Washington Post yesterday, probably no private lawyer in America has more knowledge of the presidential pardon system than Dowd – it was Dowd who acted for Arizona governor Fife Symington back in the 1990s and early 2000s when he pulled off the spectacular feat of getting Symington a presidential pardon from President Bill Clinton.

Symington – a Republican – once saved Clinton from drowning but it was Dowd’s acuity and convincing argument that got him the pardon on the day that Clinton left office.

It has been reported for some time that Trump will use his absolute right to pardon anyone, so is Dowd in place to ensure that pardons can be given to any member of Trump’s family or his team, or even the President himself?

We are a long way short of that stage, but just as Scottish

criminals used to say “get me Dowdall!” in reference to the late, great defence lawyer, we’ll maybe yet hear “get me Dowd!” around

the White House.