Donald Trump
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John Dowd quit as the president’s lead attorney, and that’s another blow to Trump’s credibility.

Trump has repeatedly attacked reports of disarray within his legal team as inaccurate. “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,” he said in a March 11 tweet. “I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow.”

The president hired [former U.S. attorney Joe] diGenova eight days later, and Dowd is now off the team.

A similar thing happened with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who was assured he was safe in his position right up until he was fired in a tweet.

People should have figured out long ago that the president’s word is worth nothing, but unfortunately a lot of people still believe him when he accuses of the media of reporting “fake news” that shortly thereafter proves to be completely accurate.

I don’t think Dowd was doing a good job as the president’s attorney so I don’t necessarily think this is a bad development for Trump, but it probably does signal that things are about to take a turn. And I very much doubt that this will be a turn for the better.

If I had to guess, Trump has insisted on his innocence to his attorneys which led them to develop a strategy of cooperation with the investigation on the theory that he’d rather be exonerated sooner rather than later and not risk obstructing justice when it’s unnecessary. The problem is that he is not innocent and Mueller’s probe did not wrap up by Thanksgiving or Christmas or the New Year as Trump promised it would.

Instead, the investigation is getting into the business activities of both the Trump and Kushner families and is threatening to put the lot of them in jail. Even poor Donald Junior and Ivanka are up to their necks in trouble at this point, and I think the president is realizing that the legal strategy he’s been using is a disaster.

His only chance now is to find a way to stop it, but that won’t be easy to do and it won’t come without creating a massive convulsion across the land.

So, I predict things are about to get uglier than we have ever seen them, and I’m including Watergate in my comparison.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at