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Offbeat Trump's ex-lawyer Dowd tried to help fund legal defense for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates: Report

05:05  22 september  2018
05:05  22 september  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

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John Dowd , a former top lawyer for the president, sought to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and Richard Gates , initially trying to divert money from the White House Related Video: Now that President Trump ’ s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is cooperating with prosecutors, he may

Trump ’ s Ex - Lawyer Tried to Finesse White House Funds to Pay Legal Fees of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates : Report . John Dowd , formerly President Donald Trump ’ s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, attempted to funnel money from the White House to help pay the legal fees

Lawyer John Dowd© Provided by CNBC Lawyer John Dowd
  • John Dowd, while heading President Donald Trump's legal team earlier this year, sought to send money from the White House's legal defense fund to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, before both of those former Trump campaign officials pleaded guilty to charges lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
  • The Journal said that White House ethics advisors rejected Dowd's idea, and later rejected his later plan to personally donate $25,0000 to Manafort's legal defense fund.

John Dowd, while heading President Donald Trump's legal team earlier this year, sought to send money from the White House's legal defense fund to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, when both of those former Trump campaign officials were being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

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A top lawyer for President Trump this year sought to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and Richard Gates , initially John Dowd , who at the time was heading Trump ’ s legal team, at the start of the year told associates of the president he wanted to direct money from the legal defense fund set

Ex - Trump lawyer John Dowd wanted to contribute to the legal fees racked up by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy According to a Friday Wall Street Journal report , Dowd first tried to divert funds from the White House defense fund , set up specifically for people

The Journal said that White House ethics advisors rejected Dowd's idea, and later rejected his subsequent plan to personally donate $25,0000 to Manafort's legal defense fund and solicit donors for that fund.

"White House advisers and Trump associates warned Mr. Dowd that his efforts to solicit funds and donate to the former campaign aides would look improper, according to people familiar with the discussions," the newspaper reported.

"They were eager to avoid any perception that the president's legal team was seeking to interfere in the investigation, as well as to keep the charges against Messrs. Manafort and Gates distanced from the president so as not to taint him."

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  Manafort’s guilty plea exposes hardball tactics he used to thrive in Washington swamp Before he was Trump’s campaign chairman, the longtime lobbyist went to extreme lengths in a secret effort to bolster a Ukrainian politician, court papers show.He enlisted a foreign politician who was secretly on his payroll to deliver a message to President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

Dowd resigned from Trump ’ s legal team in March. Sources familiar with Dowd ’s resignation at the time told ABC News the attorney had felt the president was taking less of his advice. The Journal report surfaced at a time of increasing scrutiny for the succession of lawyers who have been brought in to

WASHINGTON — A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump ’ s pardoning two of his former A lawyer for Paul Manafort , center, was approached about a In July, amid reports that Mr. Trump was considering granting pardons to his associates under investigation, Mr. Dowd Rick Gates , who was Mr. Manafort ’s business partner for years and also served as deputy chairman of the

Gates pleaded guilty Feb. 22 to lying to federal investigators. Trump's former campaign chairman Manafort, who was convicted at trial of bank fraud and tax crimes last month, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a related case this month, and agreed to cooperate with Mueller in an ongoing probe that includes investigating possible wrongdoing by campaign officials.

Dowd, who left Trump's team in March, told the Journal in an email that he considered donating money to Manafort but "upon the advice I received, I did not make that contribution."

The White House referred questions about the Journal's story from CNBC to Trump's current lawyers for the Mueller probe. A spokesman for those lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dowd blasted the Journal's story in an email sent to CNBC when asked to comment on the report.

"Another cheap hit piece!

When we started cooperating and providing witnesses to [Mueller's office], many people needed help and a concentrated challenging effort was under taken by many good lawyers to figure out who and who could not be funded

Had no control of funds. Never tried to divert funds. Inquired whether possible to include [Manafort] and was told it was not for the reasons stated. There was no drama. End of story."

Learned PM had set up fund. Raised with my colleagues. Received good advice. Took the advice Did not contribute 25K to his fund as suggested. Again no drama.

Based on a lot of homework, I knew that neither Manafort or Gates could implicate the President.

And as everyone knows I resigned of my own accord over a matter of advice which the President has always understood. I still communicate with him ; help his team and support him in every way I can."

Read the full Journal story here.

Former White House counsel Gregory Craig under scrutiny by prosecutors in offshoot of Mueller probe .
Craig’s work for the Ukrainian government while at the Skadden law firm is under investigation.Shortly before Manafort pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction this month, attorneys for Craig received requests for information from prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are investigating Craig’s activities as an offshoot of the broader probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, according to one person with knowledge of the exchange.

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