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White House Counsel Cooperates In The Mueller Investigation

White House lawyer, Don McGahn, escorts Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a meeting on August 15, in Washington, DC.
White House lawyer, Don McGahn, escorts Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a meeting on August 15, in Washington, DC.

The New York Times reported a scoop Saturday night that White House counsel Don McGahn is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

From the article:

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual. Lawyers are rarely so open with investigators, not only because they are advocating on behalf of their clients but also because their conversations with clients are potentially shielded by attorney-client privilege, and in the case of presidents, executive privilege.

The president appeared to respond to the story on Twitter.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018

If McGahn is participating, what affect could his testimony have on the president? Will his cooperation bring the timeline of the Russia investigation to a close more quickly?

Produced by Paige Osburn. Text by Gabrielle Healy.

GUESTS

Josh Gerstein, Senior reporter, Politico; @joshgerstein

Quinta Jurecic, Managing editor of Lawfare @qjurecic

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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