Latest White House Departure: Don McGahn

White House counsel was a controversial figure for some in the Mueller investigation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2018 10:35 AM CDT
Don McGahn Exiting as White House Counsel
In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, White House counsel Don McGahn gestures while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The latest White House departure: White House counsel Donald McGahn will be leaving in the fall, President Trump confirmed on Twitter Wednesday morning. "I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!" wrote Trump, who noted that McGahn's departure would come "shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court." But as the New York Times notes, the relationship between Trump and McGahn has been "rocky" for a while. Trump, last year, reportedly asked McGahn to persuade attorney general Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and McGahn failed to do so; Trump also last year reportedly asked McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and McGahn reportedly threatened to resign rather than do so.

McGahn has since spoken to Mueller, voluntarily, for at least 30 hours, reportedly talking about Trump's directive to fire Mueller as well as Trump's firing of James Comey; the Times calls the lawyer "a key witness to whether the president tried to obstruct" Mueller's Russia investigation. Axios had the first whiff of McGahn's departure, with a source saying the lawyer "did the best he could under very trying circumstances, and often had to bat back unreasonable and legally problematic requests." Though some Trump allies think McGahn gave Mueller too much information, Axios notes McGahn also "ran point" when it came to getting conservative judges appointed to the federal bench; if Kavanaugh is indeed confirmed, McGahn will leave on a "high note." McGahn has reportedly said he wants Clinton administration alumnus Emmet Flood to succeed him. (More Donald McGahn stories.)

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