Washington, Aug 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday on Twitter that White House counsel Don McGahn, who has played a key role in defending the President in the Russia probe, will leave his post in the fall.
McGahn, who began serving as White House counsel in January 2017, was questioned several times by the special prosecutor heading the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, and his testimony could be key for determining if Trump tried to obstruct that investigation, Efe reported.
“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!” tweeted Trump.
Although it had nothing to do with McGahn’s departure, Trump took advantage of the occasion to mention in his tweet the process of confirming Kavanaugh, his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat, who must receive the approval of the Senate.
Trump’s announcement comes a few hours after the Axios Web site, citing White House officials and sources close to McGahn, reported that the White House counsel was intending to leave his post as the administration’s top legal adviser sometime this autumn.
According to Axios, McGahn wants his successor to be veteran attorney Emmet T. Flood, who was one of the lawyers who represented former President Bill Clinton during his 1998 impeachment in Congress after lying to lawmakers about his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky.
Trump hired Flood last May with the aim of making his legal strategy more “aggressive” in responding to the Mueller investigation of his 2016 presidential campaign’s potential connections with the Kremlin.
Since May 2017, May has been investigating the scope of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 vote and whether there was any kind of coordination between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign.
According to The New York Times earlier this month, McGahn has been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and during the past nine months has been questioned by the special counsel’s team three times.