This is a call a criminal defense attorney makes if he has a guilty client. 100%.
1/ To be clear, I don't say that lightly or without an understanding of the importance of every American having access to a quality criminal defense attorney if they need one. But if you fully understand the background and context of that phone call, its import is pretty clear.
2/ I maintain that in a criminal case of this seriousness either the criminal defense lawyer already knows whether there is info Flynn holds that implicates the president or he doesn't know but suspects there is. That's what would lead a criminal defense lawyer to make this call.
3/ The absolute worst part of that call is the end of it, when Dowd makes a point of saying that *if* Flynn has made a deal with the government he should remember that Trump is still fond of him, a conspicuous floating of a pardon for reduced (i.e. gestural) cooperation by Flynn.
4/ But by far the most intriguing part of the call is the acknowlegement from Dowd of what we all already know: that if any person *in the world* knows of a crime Trump committed that is not already fully disclosed, it's a *national security issue*. Trump's own legal team agrees.
5/ But of course Dowd went even further than that: he said that if a person merely had information that *implicated* the president in a crime (without necessarily establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed it), it would *still* be a national security issue. CORRECT.
6/ Everyone now agrees that pre-election the Kremlin had details about Trump's dealings with it that could've constituted bribes that almost no one knew about. How is that not either a NatSec issue *or* evidence of the pre-election equivalent, a compromised foreign policy agenda?
7/ That's why I find this call so fascinating and revealing. There are so many aspects to Dowd's message to Flynn's lawyer in terms of legal implications, what it tells us about Trump, and how it reveals that his legal team has the same sense of NatSec dangers everyone else does.
You can follow @SethAbramson.
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