John Dowd, while heading President Donald Trump’s legal team earlier This specific year, sought to send money via the White House’s legal defense fund to Paul Manafort along with Rick Gates, when both of those former Trump campaign officials were being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The Journal said that will White House ethics advisors rejected Dowd’s idea, along with later rejected his subsequent plan to personally donate $25,000 to Manafort’s legal defense fund along with solicit donors for that will fund.
“White House advisers along with Trump associates warned Mr. Dowd that will his efforts to solicit funds along with donate to the former campaign aides would certainly look improper, according to people familiar with the discussions,” the newspaper reported.
“They were eager to avoid any perception that will the president’s legal team was seeking to interfere inside the investigation, as well as to keep the charges against Messrs. Manafort along with Gates distanced via the president so as not to taint him.”
Gates pleaded guilty Feb. 22 to lying to federal investigators. Trump’s former campaign chairman Manafort, who was convicted at trial of bank fraud along with tax crimes last month, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a related case This specific month, along with agreed to cooperate with Mueller in an ongoing probe that will includes investigating possible wrongdoing by campaign officials.
Dowd, who left Trump’s team in March, told the Journal in an email that will he considered donating money to Manafort nevertheless “upon the advice I received, I did not make that will contribution.”
The White House referred questions about the Journal’s story via 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 off cooperating along with providing witnesses to [Mueller’s office], many people needed help along that has a concentrated challenging effort was under taken by many not bad lawyers to figure out who along with who could not be funded;
Had no control of funds. Never tried to divert funds. Inquired whether possible to include [Manafort] along with was told This specific was not for the reasons stated. There was no drama. End of story.
Learned PM had set up fund. Raised with my colleagues. Received not bad 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 will neither Manafort or Gates could implicate the President.
along with 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 along with support him in every way I can.”
Read the full Journal story here.