One Don Too Many 🙅

 Mary Altaffer / AP

Mary Altaffer / AP

White House Counsel out

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that Donald McGahn, White House Counsel, would leave his post this coming fall. McGahn gained notoriety as White House Counsel for his work in the Trump administration's federal court appointments and his involvement in the Mueller investigation.

Why now?

Rumors surfaced that McGahn first thought about leaving his post when Trump allegedly tried to fire Mueller in June 2017Multiple outlets reported that McGahn’s threats of resignation stopped the president from proceeding (other reports dismissed these claims). McGahn recently found himself back in the spotlight when his ongoing cooperation with the Mueller investigation came to light. Some claim that McGahn’s cooperation is helping the president while others feel he is hurting the president’s case with Mueller.


RIGHT TIME FOR MCGAHN DEPARTURE:

Rolling Stone: Don McGahn Leaves Trump’s Side with his Mission Accomplished

Time: Who Will Replace Don McGahn? Trump is Considering Veteran Impeachment Lawyer Emmett Flood


Those who believe this is the right time for McGahn to depart point out that Trump was reportedly alarmed by McGahn’s cooperation in the Mueller investigation. This side praises McGahn’s effectiveness in helping Trump confirm 60+ federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch. Some believe that the appointment of Emmett Flood (McGahn’s most likely successor) would prove a savvy move by the Trump administration, given that Flood represented Clinton during his impeachment. Foreshadowing much?

 

WRONG TIME FOR MCGAHN DEPARTURE:

Vanity Fair: Don McGahn’s Exit Signals an Explosive New Phase in the Russia Probe

The Hill: McConnell: McGahn’s departure a ‘big loss’



Those who believe this is the wrong time for McGahn to depart stress the sense of instability that McGahn’s departure will signal within the Trump administration. They point to the Trump administration’s instability as an incriminating sign to the Justice Department. They also cite three Republican Senate members who aren’t happy about McGahn’s departure, again cementing McGahn as an important asset for the party.


What effect will McGahn’s departure have?

McGahn’s departure will strip the administration of an important player who helped pack the Federal courts. However, McGahn’s departure will not drastically alter trust in the Trump administration, given that McGahn’s hardly the first figure involved in the Mueller investigation to leave his post. Should Emmet Flood replace McGahn, he possesses experience handling impeachment but it is unknown if that experience will prove as important as the work already done by Don McGahn. 

"I'm not impeached!"

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