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White House Counsel Don McGahn to Step Down, Trump Confirms

White House Counsel Don McGahn to Step Down, Trump Confirms

Axios says McGahn would like to be succeeded by Emmet Flood, the attorney who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial and joined Trump's legal team to "represent the president and the administration against the Russian Federation witch hunt", as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders put it in May. McGahn fought to bring Flood onto the team and likes him very much, a source close to the White House said.

White House counsel Don McGahn is out of the administration per, as has become a not-unusual way of breaking the news, presidential tweet.

Unlike some less-amiable administration separations, Trump praised McGahn on Twitter, saying that he had "worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!"

President Donald Trump announced that McGahn will leave in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

Trump's announcement of McGahn's departure came as a surprise, including to McGahn.

Meanwhile, McGahn has been the leader when it comes to Trump's chief achievement in the Oval Office: the appointment of originalist judges to the federal bench.

"Remember the eighth amendment senator", he tweeted at Grassley and Trump, a reference to the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Don McGahn listens to Donald Trump speak.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that McGahn had "cooperated extensively" with Mueller's team, taking part in at least three interviews totaling 30 hours.

Those and other episodes, including the firing of FBI director James Comey, have made McGahn a potentially important witness as Mueller examines whether Trump illegally tried to obstruct the investigation - an offense that could lead to impeachment.

The president later denounced the reports as "fake news". In January 2017, then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed McGahn that Flynn had misled the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with former Russian ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. Problem was, Trump couldn't find anyone to replace him.

On Twitter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley begged Trump not to let that happen.

Since April, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been serving as the President's lead outside lawyer focused on the Russian Federation investigation and has been combative and public in his efforts as McGahn has stayed out of sight.