President Trump on Wednesday confirmed that White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, “shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Untied States Supreme Court,” tweeted Trump.
White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
The departure was first announced by Axios, who noted that Trump has not formalized a successor, though McGahn would prefer Clinton alumni Emmet Flood, who joined the Trump team in May to help deal with the Russia probe. Flood also served during George W. Bush’s second term “as his top lawyer handling congressional investigators.”
A source familiar with Flood’s thinking said: “The reason he can represent both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump is because he thinks these investigators come and basically put a target on their backs, trying to overturn every aspect of their lives searching for a crime.” –Axios
McGahn, who spent 30 hours interviewing with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, is said to have “extensively cooperated” with the investigation. Some Trump allies fear he “coughed up too much information” during the interviews. That said, McGahn has told a confidant that he doesn’t expect to leave Trump’s orbit entirely after he departs from the White House – privately saying he expects to be of assistance to Trump through the re-election campaign.
Earlier in the month, the New York Times reported that McGahn had given 30 hours of interviews to Mueller over a nine month period.
The report said that during those talks, McGahn and his lawyer focused on absolving McGahn of wrongdoing while candidly discussing inner-circle conversations with Trump related to the investigation.
These discussions reportedly touched on Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and his focus on putting loyal officials in charge of the investigation, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions. –Business Insider
Trump called the account “Fake” because it implied that McGahn had been a “RAT” like White House counsel John Dean, who cooperated with prosecutors in the Watergate scandal which was instrumental in ending Richard Nixon’s presidency. Instead, the president says he allowed McGahn and others to cooperate with the special counsel probe because he had “nothing to hide,” and was eager to get to the end of the investigation.
Behind the curtain, McGahn helped Trump select a “record number of conservative federal judges” in what Business Insider suggests may be one of Trump’s more consequential moves as president.
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