“He dropped that on the table, and I reacted very strongly,” Dowd recalled. “I said go ahead, you’re threatening this president with a subpoena. It’s doubtful whether the [Justice Department] Office of Legal Counsel would have approved such a thing. … But beside that, I said, well go ahead. I want to hear what you tell the court is your basis to do it when you don’t have a crime, you’ve just told me [Trump] doesn’t have any exposure, so what are you going to tell a U.S. district judge? Because we’re going to move to quash this thing. And Jay Sekulow and his team were ready to do it … We’re ready to do it if you want to do it.”

“Then he backed off, he said don’t get upset,” Dowd continued.

“I said, look, what basis do you have to do it? We’re not afraid of a grand jury subpoena. You want to do it, you’ve got yourself a war and you’re going to lose it. There’s no way [Mueller] could win that. I think he concluded that, even with all the firepower he had on his side, I think they knew they couldn’t do it. I think they thought they might scare us into it, but we were not going to go there.”

The subpoena never came.