President Trump directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to remove special counsel Robert Mueller in the summer of 2017, but the attorney refused and intended to resign rather then serve as the president’s hatchet man.
In June 2017. Mr. Trump directed Mr. McGahn to fire Mueller because of alleged conflicts of interest. But McMcGahn refused fearing another “Saturday Night Massacre,” akin to when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox amid the Watergate scandal, according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Mr. McGahn said he believed the perceived conflicts raised by the president were “silly” and “not real” and he communicated that view to the president. He also asserted the White House counsel should not be involved in the decision, according to the Mueller report.
Feeling trapped, Mr. McGahn considered resigning, but White House officials Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus convinced him to remain. He ultimately left the Trump administration in October 2018.
However, Mr. Mueller’s team concluded Mr. Trump’s request was not obstruction because even if a lead prosecutor is removed, the investigation would continue.
But Mr. Mueller said there is evidence Mr. Trump should not have made the request to Mr. McGahn, the special counsel said.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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