Don McGahn to leave job as White House counsel, Trump says

Clay Curtis
August 30, 2018

President Donald Trump announced that McGahn will leave in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

The announcement of McGahn's departure comes weeks after the revelation that he recently was interviewed by Mueller and his team for more than one full day.

McGahn has led the Trump Administration's efforts to reshape the judiciary while confronting turmoil in the West Wing surrounding the ongoing Special Counsel probe. Besides dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, McGahn has had important input on a range of issues from policy to personnel to national security. 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.

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

He was not aware that Trump planned to send the tweet before it posted, according to a person close to McGahn.

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Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, ending widespread speculation about McGahn, who will be the latest in a long string of high-ranking advisers to leave Trump's side. "U can't let that happen", Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted.

McGahn's departure rattled one of Trump's key allies in the Senate who have seen McGahn as a crucial player in helping Republicans reshape federal courts for a generation. As the Post notes, if Democrats win control during the midterm elections, the coming wave of investigations and potential impeach proceedings - what Trump reportedly calls "the i-word" - could encourage more staffers to jump ship while scaring away most potential new hires.

McGahn, who has advised Trump on dealing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, also has been interviewed at length as a cooperating witness by Mueller's team. Other topics included Trump's criticism of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation probe, the Post said.

The job of White House counsel in this administration would take its toll on even the hardiest of people, and it could be that Mr McGahn has simply reached the end of his endurance. Prior to that, he was chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

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