Former White House Counsel Don McGahn Says Trump Told Him To Write False Statement
The House Judiciary Committee has just released the transcript of its interview with former White House Counsel Don McGahn. This interview comes after over two years of legal battles between Democrats and the former Republican administration. The interview occurred on June 4 and under the final agreed-upon conditions which included that the interview must be private and McGahn could only be questioned about the public portions of the Mueller Report.
The interview itself gave more insight into how McGahn navigated being President Donald Trump’s lawyer during a politically volatile period. He called Trump’s directions to him “crazy shit” that threatened to “spin out of control.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York), released the report along with scathing comments.
“Mr. McGahn provided the Committee with substantial new information—including firsthand accounts of President Trump’s increasingly out of control behavior, and insight into concerns that the former President’s conduct could expose both Trump and McGahn to criminal liability. Mr. McGahn also confirmed that President Trump lied when he denied the accuracy of the Mueller Report and admitted that he was the source for a Washington Post report that confirmed Trump’s direction to McGahn to remove the Special Counsel.
“All told, Mr. McGahn’s testimony gives us a fresh look at how dangerously close President Trump brought us to, in Mr. McGahn’s words, the ‘point of no return.’”
All 241 pages of the transcript can be found below.
Democrats subpoenaed McGahn in 2019 after the Mueller Report was released. The Trump administration tried to block the subpoena, leading to a difficult court case that was only recently resolved.
McGahn struggled to work for the former president, who more often than not refused his legal advice and put him in compromising positions. He confirmed that what appeared in the Mueller Report was mostly true, giving it legitimacy, but he did not add substantial new information. He also confirmed that the former president “directed McGahn to write a false statement – knowing that the statement was false, and knowing that carrying out this order might expose McGahn to criminal liability, including prosecution by the Special Counsel.”
McGahn also expressed his concern for Trump’s actions when he was “knocking out” Mueller, and what legal implications this would have, such as obstruction of justice.
Trump has since called McGahn a “lying bastard,” but McGahn still stands firmly by his testament, including statements that Trump tried to suppress the Mueller investigation.