White House Counsel Has Spoken to Mueller for 30 Hours

Don McGahn has given special counsel insight into Comey firing, Trump attempts to fire Mueller: 'NYT'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2018 7:37 AM CDT
In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, White House counsel Don McGahn gestures while speaking at CPAC, at National Harbor, Md.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – "For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual." But what makes it even more unusual is that the lawyer in question is White House counsel Don McGahn and his client is the president of the United States, The New York Times reports that McGahn has now given some 30 hours worth of candid, voluntary interviews to special counsel Robert Mueller—giving up details on Trump's decision to fire James Comey and his attempts to fire Mueller himself, "which investigators might not have discovered without him," despite being shielded by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. "Most transparent in history," trumpeted Trump on Saturday night, though by Sunday morning he was firing off a flurry of furious tweets blasting the "Failing New York Times" and its "two Fake reporters" for making it "seem like the White House Councel had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite. This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!"

Trump also attacked the Mueller investigation itself, saying that "Mueller and his gang ... make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!" McGahn's openness appears complicated: It began as part of President Trump's legal team's strategy of cooperating with Mueller in the hopes of putting his investigation to bed quickly, but the Times reports that McGahn appears to have become concerned along the way that Trump might be setting him up to take the fall for Russian collusion. The White House says that Trump simply has nothing to hide, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling Fox News that "The president and Don have a great relationship." The full story is here.

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