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- White House counsel Don McGahn was reportedly blindsided when President Donald Trump tweeted that he would leave the administration when he had no plans to do so, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
- Trump’s announcement about McGahn’s employment came after a bombshell Times article reported that McGahn had given 30 hours of volunteer witness testimony in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
- McGahn was witness to a number of crucial events, including Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey.
White House counsel Don McGahn was reportedly taken aback to see President Donald Trump announcing his departure from the White House in a tweet when he had no plans to do so, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The tweets came after a bombshell New York Times article in August reported that McGahn volunteered himself to be a witness in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s potential role in it.
McGahn gave over 30 hours in testimony over the course of nine months of interviews, The Times reported.
The subsequent Times follow-up on the Trump legal team seems to indicate that Trump pushed McGahn out of the administration over the Mueller interviews, despite Trump’s strong implication that McGahn left on his own accord.
Sources with knowledge of the president’s thinking previously told CNN that Trump was “unnerved” by McGahn’s testimony, which McGahn reportedly gave to shield himself from incrimination in the Mueller probe.
McGahn was front-and-center for several crucial events Mueller is now examining as possible instances of obstruction of justice. These include Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, Trump wanting attorney general Jeff Sessions to oversee the Russia probe after recusing himself, and Trump’s reported attempts to fire Mueller.
In the wake of news that McGahn had cooperated with Mueller, Trump fired off a series of tweets attacking Mueller and his team of prosecutors as “disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs” who enjoy “ruining people’s lives,” while simultaneously claiming he approved McGahn’s cooperation.
Reacting to Trump’s tweets, former federal prosecutor Joyce Alene Vance said, “Any prosecutor knows, you don’t waste 30 hours on a witness who’s got nothing.”