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.

9 thoughts on “I Bet Trump Is Nervous About McGahn

  1. From the public's perspective it is a more intense time, because what is coming out of WH is pure Fox news as Shine is in charge of the noise (like security clearances being made the story). This is fox news and reality TV combined and used as a weapon on the public.

  2. Something I speculated about months ago is that Trump's legal team, before the departure of  Ty Cobb, in the strategy of cooperation with Mueller was out of step with the emerging narrative of conspiracy with Moscow, especially after the discovery of the Trump Tower meeting. It seemed to me then and now that Trump was lying to his lawyers, even though they had client-attorney privilege and could only formulate a defense if they KNEW what might be coming.

    IMO, Trump has occasionally needed legal competence and he may have discovered long ago that real lawyers are not eager to put their reputation and their license to practice law on the line. That's the risk if a lawyer "subornes perjury". A lawyer can't pursue a line of questioning with a witness where the lawyer extracts testimony that the lawyer KNOWS to be false. Trump intended from the beginning to lie about the Russians and if he needed to, construct a defense based on paid false testimony. 

    Early on, Ty Cobb told anyone and everyone in the West Wing that they were going to put to rest rumors of cooperation between Trump and Putin by full disclosure. Counting on Trump's honesty, (*sigh*) Ty Cobb gave McGahn the green light which no one ever turned off. Cobb wasn't privy to the gyrations about the Sessions recusal perhaps, and Trump's machinations to obstruct DOJ. McGahn, in the West Wing, could smell Obstruction of Justice in the orders he was being given. I'd bet he warned Trump. I'd guess everyone forgot the green light was on with Mueller,  and McGahn continued to pass on information to make sure that he (McGahn) wasn't going to be held liable for what Trump was ordering.

    At some point in time, Ty Cobb realized he was being suckered into providing a defense for a guilty man (which is not unethical) and Cobb was doing a poor job in that defense because he was continually under the mushroom treatment (kept in the dark, fed a steady diet of shit). That was more than Ty Cobb's professional integrity could stand.

    A legal defense on Obstruction has fallen apart, but Trump and Rudy are pursing a public relations defense, intent on maintaining the base and using that as a club against the GOP. That kills impeachment and Trump is counting on at least one juror on any jury who won't bring back a guilty verdict. 

  3.  he was continually under the mushroom treatment (kept in the dark, fed a steady diet of shit). 

    You got that right,doug. LMAO! The only problem I have is believing that Ty Cobb got suckered…How can anybody not see what Trump is/was all about right from the very beginning? Everything about Trump screams liar. I'm more to the belief that Trump's lawyers* are just there to pick up some easy GOP donor money.. Billing out at over $2,000.00 an hour to sit on their ass an do nothing, knowing that the well will never run dry. The money flows like water, so why not quench your greed at donor expense?

     They were willing to pay Omarosa $15,000.00 a month just to keep her mouth shut. The money just falls from heaven.

    * Sekulow has no expertise in the arena in which he's operating. His only purpose is to lull the religious right into believing Trump has some connection to truth and God. Sekulow made his bones shilling on the 700 club for prayer in school and other religious grievances against secular society.  He's a con man just like Trump except he's got a different angle in running his game.

     Abraham Lincoln once said, "A lawyer's advice is his stock in trade". For Sekulow, in regard to Trump, his stock in trade is in his image as a christian warrior.

  4. Swami,

    tRUMP, the rat, has FOX & Reich-wing talk-radio flee's which spread his brain-eating prion disease.

    I think McGahn told the truth to the questions asked of him.  Thirty hours is a long time to lie, or do a song & dance routine. 

  5. Oh that Krugman, Paranoid they are and frozen in fear.  His NYT article today is inspired.  A bit tangential in topic but still much to the point.  Here is a tease:

    "The same goes for Trump and company. Trump knows perfectly well that he’s guilty of collusion. That doesn’t mean he’s faking his volcanic rage at those documenting his guilt: He hates his pursuers all the more because he knows they’re on the right track.

    And as he lashes out, with no regard for law or the Constitution, will other Republicans try to hold him back? All the evidence suggests that they won’t."

    Krugman poses the question as to why the Republican Party is now the party in opposition to objective reality.  Are they not the party who railed against political correctness and now embrace an altered political reality which supersedes all others?   

  6. I urge everyone to play back Anderson Cooper last night talking about the mind games trump Inc is playing.  :" these aren't the druids you are looking for ".

    Truthisn'tTruth Giuliani  has been doing this since April and fox is in WH Shine is taking over propaganda ops. Trump doesn't to call in anymore. He is the show.

  7. The Democratic Party is now the conservative party.

    We sre trying to "conserve" the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.  We are trying to save the changes for the better that came about during the 20th Century.

    The Republican Party is now the party of  lawless Radicals and Anarchists.  They want to return this country to the 1850's, and not even the 1950's 

    They spread chaos, open bigotry, and fear and hatred for those "different" from us.   

    And their party has a president who suffers from verbal flatulence. tRUMP couldn't stop talking if his life was on the line (oh, if only…). 

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