I Bet Trump Is Nervous About McGahn

Nancy LeTourneau writes that a White House counsel, which is what Don McGahn is, does not work for the president but for the government. This means there is no attorney-client privilege between Trump and McGahn. She quotes Bob Bauer at Lawfare:

A White House counsel is not in a position to reject or ignore a special prosecutor’s request for information relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. The law on the fundamental point is clear. Precisely as the Times describes McGahn’s understanding of his role, the White House counsel is a government employee, not personal counsel to the president. Courts presented with the question have ruled that, in a criminal investigation, the attorney-client privilege does not shield a White House counsel from providing his or her evidence. Neither is executive privilege a safe harbor if the government can demonstrate need for the information and its unavailability from other sources.


Since Trump believes that the FBI and the Attorney General are there to protect his interests rather than serve the cause of justice, it should come as no surprise that he would assume the same thing about the White House counsel’s office. McGahn’s job, however, is to defend the presidency, not the president. If Trump had tried to stop him from talking to the special prosecutor, Mueller could have compelled him to do so.

In this morning’s tweetstorm, Trump claimed he had given his approval to McGahn to testify and accused Bob Mueller of trying to interfere with the midterm elections.

There are differing opinions being offered in the nation’s op ed pages about whether McGahn would try to protect Trump or not, but he testified for 30 hours. That’s an awfully long time to testify and not say something.  See also David Graham, Are Trump’s Lawyers an Asset or a Liability? and Paul Waldman, The most intense and dangerous period of the Trump presidency is about to begin.

Elsewhere: The more information that comes out about Bret Kavanaugh, the scummier he looks. See Josh Marshall, Bret Kavanaugh Is A First Rate Hypocrite and Political Judge and Brett Kavanaugh, the man who created the super PAC.