WASHINGTON — Don McGahn’s 20-month tenure as White House counsel have been long by Trump administration standards, and crucial in comparison to its his role in transforming the federal judiciary. But it surely would not withstand Trump’s fury over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Days after reports about McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mueller’s investigation, including 30 hours of interviews with investigators, the impending end of McGahn’s job had a tweet.
“White House Counsel Don McGahn might be leaving his position while in the fall, following the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh towards Usa Top court,” President Trump tweeted yesterday, without talking to McGahn beforehand.
Reports have circulated for months that McGahn would leave after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, nevertheless the tweet was essentially directed at ensure his departure.
McGahn’s role as counsel to work on the president — not Trump personally — have been marked by alternately his efforts to be up to Trump and actions that focused on the president’s whims. McGahn refused Trump’s order to fire Mueller a year ago. But also, he, at Trump’s behest, urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to never recuse himself on the Russia investigation despite Justice Department rules requiring a real move. McGahn drafted nondisclosure agreements for White House employees at Trump’s direction — but persuaded staffers to sign them by telling them that they were likely unenforceable.
As his tensions with Trump grew, McGahn focused almost positioned on the process of appointments, helping Trump install many conservative judges in the least amounts of the judiciary including what can be two Supreme court appointees — a job that took hottest presidents two full terms to get.
Over prior times year, as reports circulated that McGahn’s days while in the White House may be numbered, conservative operatives and GOP lawmakers privately urged McGahn to remain — underscoring the need for his role overseeing Trump’s federal judicial appointments.
Trump is reportedly eyeing Emmet Flood, the attorney representing him in connection with the Mueller probe, to replace McGahn. But despite Flood’s knowledge in President George W. Bush’s White House, the position was obviously a tough a person to take — especially during the ongoing Mueller probe.
“White House counsel would be the worst job inside the White House,” said Andrew Wright, an early associate counsel in President Obama’s White House Counsel’s Office, who said hello surpasses maybe the role of press secretary.
“I don’t think the press secretary provides the same legal exposure that counsel should have while he must make lots of representations” to investigators, Wright said.
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