President Trump’s lawyer John Dowd allegedly sent an email to The Wall Street Journal in which he said, among other things, that the raid on Paul Manafort’s home was a gross abuse of power. The FBI definitely used aggressive tactics. I said as much yesterday. But the part that jumps out to me is that Dowd is threatening to make a motion to have the fruits of the search suppressed.
According to Fox News, Dowd said this: “These failures by Special Counsel to exhaust less intrusive methods is a fatal flaw in the warrant process and would call for a Motion to Suppress the fruits of the search…”
This seems highly irregular on a few fronts, both legally and politically. To state the obvious, Paul Manafort is not Dowd’s client. Dowd is Donald Trump’s lawyer. So it’s not even clear to me he would have standing to make a motion to suppress this evidence, let alone an interest in doing so that the President would want to be admitting publicly. He might have standing if the evidence ended up being used against Dowd’s client, Donald Trump. But is that true? And is it something Dowd wants to be admitting?
If it’s not true, why does Dowd care about the Manafort raid at all? His job is to defend his client, not Paul Manafort.
What’s going on here? According to James Comey, Trump once said it would be acceptable and perhaps good if the FBI caught “satellite associates” who colluded with Russia. Is Manafort a “satellite associate”? Does Donald Trump think those FBI agents may have found evidence that incriminates him? That’s certainly what this looks like from the outside. And Dowd may even be saying as much in legal terms.