White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave his job after the Senate votes on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump said in a tweet.
The development comes as legal risks to the president rise, following the conviction of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort last week on fraud charges and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea to charges of fraud and campaign finance violations.
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 said Wednesday. “I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!”
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 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. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!
During his time as White House counsel, McGahn repeatedly butted heads with Trump and occupied a position rife with conflicts. He has met extensively with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and is an important potential witness regarding whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey.
Because he’s a witness in the Russia investigation, McGahn has had little involvement in the White House’s response to the probe since at least August 2017, when lawyer Ty Cobb was brought into the West Wing to work directly with investigators. Lawyer Emmet Flood replaced Cobb earlier this year and could move into McGahn’s job.
Flood is well respected within the White House but no decision has been made on McGahn’s replacement, according to one administration official who asked not to be identified discussing a personnel matter.
McGahn also came under fire earlier this year for his office’s handling of a security clearance for former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives.