And it just keeps getting “better”.
You might recall that it was just yesterday when the New York Times reported that John Dowd has decided to throw in the towel on Donald Trump, reportedly because he and the President have a whole lot “disagreements” about strategy regarding the Mueller probe.
Well fast forward to Friday and Politico is reporting that top White House lawyer Don McGahn will step down later this year.
Politico notes that McGahn’s resignation “is contingent on the president finding a replacement and several other factors.” That according to four sources familiar with McGahn’s thinking.
“I think it’s all up in the air,” one source told Politico, adding that “I think he’d like to quit very much [but] the president doesn’t want him to quit [because] I don’t think he knows who will replace him.”
Right. And you’re encouraged to remember that this would be the same Don McGahn who threatened to quit last year when Trump tried to have Mueller fired. Recall how that supposedly played out (from our previous piece, citing the Times):
Well now we know why Trump hasn’t fired Mueller. According to a bombshell piece just out in The New York Times, Trump ordered Mueller fired last June “but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.”
When Trump became aware that Mueller was looking into obstruction of justice, the President made three arguments according to the Times:
- First, he claimed that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., had prompted Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director at the time, to resign his membership
- The president also said Mr. Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner
- Finally, the president said, Mr. Mueller had been interviewed to return as the F.B.I. director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May.
According to the Times’ sources, Don McGahn told Trump he would quit before he would ask the DoJ to dismiss Mueller.
McGahn not only disagreed with Trump’s rationale, he also informed the President that firing Mueller would be “catastrophic”.
And that’s hardly the whole story there. Here’s Politico reminding you what else ol’ Don is wrapped up in:
McGahn’s departure would also free him from some of the daily turmoil associated with playing a prominent role in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The White House counsel told the president in January 2017 that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled both the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., which led to Flynn’s firing.
On Trump’s orders, McGahn tried without success last March to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the whole probe. McGahn also had a role in last May’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. And Trump tried to get McGahn in June to press the Justice Department to examine potential grounds for firing Mueller.
So yeah, Don wants out of this crazy shit just like Dowd and just like everyone else. And apparently, no lawyers want any part of this dumpster fire. Here’s WaPo:
Some law firms have signaled that they do not want the controversy of representing a divisive and unpopular president, while others have told Trump advisers they have clients with conflicting interests, according to several lawyers and three of the president’s advisers. Several prominent white-collar lawyers also have declined requests to sign on with the president in recent weeks, including former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson.
The difficulties in finding representation come as the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III intensifies its focus on Trump’s actions. John Dowd, the president’s chief lawyer in handling the Mueller probe since last year, quit Thursday morning after several strategy disputes with the president, who ultimately lost confidence in the veteran lawyer, three Trump aides said.
Again, the writing is scrawled all over the wall in big red letters for you. If you choose to ignore it, well then that’s your prerogative, but Trump isn’t going to have anyone left when he really needs them.
trump is going to end up having to represent himself. pic.twitter.com/YZ9jfLgxJj
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) March 22, 2018