White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving the Trump administration this fall, the White House announced Wednesday.
Who is Don McGahn?
McGahn, 50, has been part of Trump's team since the 2016 campaign. In the White House, he has acted as a liaison between President Donald Trump and Congress and the Department of Justice.
What happened Wednesday?
President Trump tweeted Wednesday:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
McGahn had planned to leave once Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, but the Washington Post reported that he was surprised at Trump's announcement.
Trump, however, made the announcement only after Axios broke the news that McGahn would be stepping down. Axios, citing an anonymous source, said that McGahn wanted Clinton and Bush administration alumnus Emmet Flood to replace him, but so far no announcement has been made.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tweeted out his dismay at the news:
@realDonaldTrump I hope it’s not true McGahn is leaving WhiteHouse Counsel. U can’t let that happen
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 29, 2018
The New York Times reported that McGahn had recently cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, sitting for more than 30 hours of interviews. After this report came out, Trump slammed the "failing" Times for the story, saying that he had allowed McGahn to testify because he had "nothing to hide."
The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type “RAT.” But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide......
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018
A report in January, also from the Times, claimed that Trump had ordered McGahn to fire Mueller, but then reconsidered when McGahn threatened to resign. Trump dismissed these allegations as "fake news."