Mueller Accused of Selectively Editing Trump Lawyer Voice Mail Transcript
Version in Mueller report appears edited to seem more sinister than original transcript
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is accused of selectively editing the transcript from a voicemail by President Donald Trump's former lawyer to make it appear incriminating in the Russia Probe report.
The Mueller Report contains a transcript of a voicemail left by Trump's then-lawyer John Dowd to an attorney for former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The version included in the report has been heavily edited, however, and appears far more sinister than the newly-uncovered original, unedited version shows.
On Monday, Dowd accused the special counsel’s office of attempting to smear his reputation in the Russia report by selectively quoting from the voicemail.
“Isn’t it ironic that this man who kept indicting and prosecuting people for process crimes committed a false statement in his own report,” Dowd said of Mueller during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity.
"By taking out half my words, they changed the tenor and the contents of that conversation with [Flynn lawyer] Robert Kelner," Dowd argues.
According to the Daily Caller, Dowd, a former federal prosecutor, was responding to Friday’s release of a complete transcript of a voicemail he left with Kelner on Nov. 22, 2017, just after Flynn left a joint defense agreement with President Donald Trump and shortly before he began cooperating with the special counsel.
Mueller published portions of the voicemail transcript in the section of the Russia report dealing with the obstruction of justice investigation against Trump.
But the full transcript of Dowd’s voicemail, which was ordered released by Judge Emmet Sullivan, shows that he told Kelner that while he hoped to get “a heads up” about any cooperation with the special counsel, he wanted to do so “without you having to give up any … confidential information.”
The special counsel’s report portrays the transcript as reading:
[I]f . .. there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue, . . . so, you know, . . . we need some kind of heads up. Um, just for the sake of protecting all our interests if we can …
That portion of the transcript released Friday reads:
If, on the other hand, we have, there’s information that. .. implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, I don’t know … some issue, we got to-we got to deal with, not only for the President, but for the country. So … uh … you know, then-then, you know, we need some kind of heads up. Um, just for the sake of … protecting all our interests, if we can, without you having to give up any … confidential information.
Dowd also claims that Mueller’s report falsely suggests that the contact with Kelner was improper.
Dowd said Monday that he “had an obligation as counsel to the president to find out what was going on.”
“I’m so glad Judge Sullivan ordered the transcript because we now know the truth.”
“And we also know this entire report by Mueller is a fraud, and we’re going to find more of these things,” he added.
“It’s an outrage, and there’s probably more of it.”
Later in the segment, Dowd said that the incomplete transcript “is a smear on me and my reputation.”
He also said that the voicemail was never mentioned by Mueller or his top deputy, James Quarles, in their meetings throughout the investigation.
“They never said a word to me. Instead, they pull this ambush in their report,” said Dowd.
Alan Dershowitz, the retired constitutional law professor, agreed that Mueller should have published the entire transcript of Dowd’s voicemail.
“This is a very, very serious issue,” he said.
“The distortion of the Dowd quote is very serious.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) described Mueller’s actions as an outright “fraud.”