Published: Thu, August 30, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Don McGahn Stepping Down as White House Lawyer

Don McGahn Stepping Down as White House Lawyer

The Times reported in January that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired in June, 2017, but McGahn threatened to quit, and the president backed down.

The White House counsel, Don McGahn, may leave the Trump administration this fall, according to the news website Axios.

Trump said McGahn's departure had nothing to do with his interviews with the special counsel investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation in the 2016 election.

Unlike some less-amiable administration separations, Trump praised McGahn on Twitter, saying that he had "worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!"

The departure of a key member of Trump's legal team comes as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation continues to consume much of the President's focus amid questions of potential obstruction of justice into the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Some GOP lawmakers sounded stunned at McGahn's departure.

Reports said McGahn answered questions about numerous inside-the-White House events related to actions that Trump has taken, although McGahn's lawyer said he did not implicate the president in wrongdoing.

Chuck Grassley, prominent Republican Senator from Iowa, expressed his concern over the report.

As White House counsel, McGahn was charged with untangling a thicket of conflicts of interest between Trump's worldwide business interests and his presidency.

The Times reported that McGahn has spent 30 hours speaking with Mueller's team and offered insight that only he could. Being the lead attorney in any White House is stressful. His reaction was, "Of course it happened this way", one person said.

He also helped guide Trump's selection of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and the president's nomination of Kavanaugh and helped oversee a dramatic rollback of Obama era regulations.

Previously, Trump had reportedly clashed with McGahn after courts found the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort guilty of financial crimes, and Trump openly pondered a pardon.

In recent months Trump's legal team has been negotiating under what conditions the President would be interviewed by Mueller's team.

And when Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced pressure to recuse himself, Trump enlisted McGahn to urge Sessions not to take that step.

The president later denounced the reports as "fake news".

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