White House counsel Don McGahn to leave post: Trump
WASHINGTON: White House counsel Don McGahn, whose time serving President Donald Trump has been marked by tension related to the investigation of Russian election interference, will leave the job in the coming weeks.
“White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!”
McGahn voluntarily cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team in a continuing investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas, indictments and cooperation deals and one conviction for several Trump insiders.
Trump has not settled on a replacement for McGahn, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. There has been speculation the job would go to Emmett Flood, a veteran Washington lawyer who joined the White House in May to help with the Russia probe, but Sanders said he had not been offered the job.
“People like him (Flood). He`s super well-respected around the building, but there`s not a plan locked in place at this point,” Sanders said.
McGahn could not be reached for comment.
The relationship between Trump and McGahn, a Washington insider who was chief counsel for Trump`s presidential run, has become strained by the pressures of Mueller`s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, sources familiar with their relationship have said.
As White House counsel, McGahn was charged with untangling a thicket of conflicts of interest between Trump`s international business interests and his presidency.
The New Jersey native, who played bass guitar in an 1980s cover band before joining the White House, will be the latest in a large number of high-ranking White House officials to leave Trump`s side in what has been an unprecedented level of senior staff turnover.
McGahn had been a partner at Jones Day, one of the world`s largest law firms, before joining Trump as counsel to his campaign. He specialized in campaign finance issues, having served on the Federal Election Commission from 2008 to 2013.
Trump named McGahn White House counsel in November 2016 shortly after winning the presidential election.
He led Trump`s nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch through the Senate confirmation process in 2017, running “murder boards” in his office to bombard Gorsuch with questions he might face at his confirmation hearings.