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Don McGahn Is the MVP of the Trump Administration

April 19, 2019 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

One of the biggest heroes of the Mueller report is Don McGahn,
who served as White House counsel from President Donald Trump’s
inauguration through October 2018. McGahn sat for 30 hours of interviews with special counsel
Robert Mueller. And, in the report, Mueller described him as a “credible witness with no
motive to lie.”

The report reveals that soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod
Rosenstein appointed the special counsel, Trump tried to get McGahn
to remove Mueller. McGahn repeatedly declined — and, in May
2017, he warned this action would appear as an attempt to “meddle
in the investigation.”

When Trump called McGahn in June to prod him again to remove
Mueller, the White House counsel was at his wits’ end. “McGahn did
not carry out the direction,” details the report, “deciding that he would
resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday
Night Massacre.”

Later, when Trump asked McGahn why he had told Mueller about the
order to have him fired, McGahn explained that “he had to” because
their conversations weren’t protected by attorney-client privilege.
This latter point is important because McGahn stood up for the idea
that the White House counsel’s loyalty is to the Office of the
President, not to the President himself.

Trump seemed satisfied by that explanation, but then asked,
“What about those notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take
notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.” McGahn replied that he
is a “real lawyer” and that notes create a clear record.

In that judgment, McGahn was right — and more helpful to
the President than Michael Cohen, his personal attorney and fixer,
or any other of the non-notetaking lawyers who made a Trump-related
appearance in the Mueller investigation.

In short, McGahn’s professionalism and commitment to legal
ethics under challenging circumstances shine through in the Mueller
report. When you add all that to his stunning success as architect
of a winning strategy on judicial nominations — including two
Supreme Court justices and a record number of circuit judges — McGahn
comes out looking as the early nominee for MVP of the Trump

Ilya Shapiro
is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies
at the Cato Institute. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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