The former head of President Trump’s legal team predicted Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller won’t issue a report, calling the two-year-long investigation of Russian election interference “one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.”
At the same time, a new report said the Senate Intelligence Committee is nearing the end of its own probe of the 2016 election without finding any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Veteran defense lawyer John Dowd, who represented the president in the special counsel’s investigation until March, told ABC News he believes Mr. Mueller won’t deliver a comprehensive report, a potential roadmap of wrongdoing that has been highly anticipated in Washington.
“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” Mr. Dowd told The Investigation, a podcast. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than, ‘We’re done.’”
Mr. Dowd worked with Mr. Trump for about a year, encouraging extensive cooperation with the Mueller probe.
“I know exactly what [Mr. Mueller] has,” Mr. Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is. There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”
A spokesman for the Mueller team declined to comment Tuesday. Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani did not return messages seeking comment.
The president didn’t comment, either, when asked by reporters at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday if he expects Mr. Mueller to issue a final report.
If Mr. Dowd’s prediction is proven correct, it would cause a major shift of political calculations heading into the 2020 presidential election. Democrats are counting on a damning report from Mr. Mueller, focusing on Trump campaign officials colluding with Moscow in 2016 and even on the president possibly attempting to obstruct justice in the subsequent investigations.
For example, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, told supporters at her presidential campaign kickoff last weekend that Mr. Trump “may not even be a free person” by the time Election Day rolls around in 2020.
Nearly all Senate Democrats are opposing Mr. Trump’s nomination of William Barr for attorney general this week, with most seeking a stronger commitment from Mr. Barr to make public the eventual report from Mr. Mueller.
Lending more weight to Mr. Trump’s complaints that he is the subject of a costly “witch hunt,” NBC News reported Tuesday that the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its two-year investigation without proof of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow, after having interviewed about 200 witnesses. The report cited Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said committee Chairman Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, told CBS News last week. “We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to.”
Five former Trump advisers have pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to FBI agents about the extent of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition.
The liberal Center for American Progress’ Moscow Project released a timeline Tuesday showing 28 meetings and extensive contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians from April 2016 and January 2017.
“Despite real-time revelations about Russian interference, the 2016 Trump campaign chose at every opportunity to continue over 100 contacts with Russia — accepting and encouraging their efforts,” the group said.
Mr. Mueller’s investigators also have indicted 26 Russian nationals and several others. Mr. Dowd described those charges as “nickel-dime process crimes.”
“I ran big corruption cases,” he said. “I didn’t go around, picking scabs and just making any case I could make. If there was a petty case, I shifted it to someone else. I didn’t do it. And that’s where I disagree with Bob [Mueller].”
Mr. Dowd said the president has cooperated with the special counsel at an unprecedented level, even providing investigators with communications with the White House Counsel’s office.
“There’s no time in history has anybody had this kind of look at communications with the president,” Mr. Dowd said.