Soon after, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) published a tweet, directed at Donald Trump, in which the senator said he hoped McGahn wasn’t leaving. The president, Grassley wrote, “can’t let that happen.”
Trump was apparently unmoved, announcing via Twitter:
“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!”
The news comes just two weeks after we learned that McGahn has spoken at some length with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of the investigation into the Russia scandal, and according to the New York Times, the White House counsel shared “detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise.”
As Rachel recently noted on the show, McGahn has also been cast in a positive light in a wide variety of news reports in which the White House counsel may have been a key source. I’m especially fond of the report from January in which McGahn bravely stood up to the president, who’d ordered him to fire Mueller – according to a source close to McGahn.
The timing of his departure may not be ideal. The White House is, after all, at the center of several ongoing controversies, and if Democrats gain any power in the midterm elections, the counsel’s office will be very busy producing documents in response to congressional subpoenas.
With this in mind, I’m hard pressed to imagine why anyone welcome the chance to replace McGahn.