Sunday, June 24News That Matters

White House Counsel Don McGahn has acted to protect Flynn, Porter and Trump—no matter what

Neil Eggleston. If that name is unfamiliar, Eggleston was the White House counsel for Barack Obama for the last three years of his administration. During those three years, Eggleston became known for his personal actions on … nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

On the other hand, during his short time in the White House, Don McGahn has become something just short of a household name. It was McGahn who sent a memo to Jeff Sessions asking that Sessions not recuse himself from the Russia investigation. McGahn who informed Donald Trump that Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI. McGahn who leaned on the FBI to get rid of Andrew McCabe.  

And he’s one of the people who intentionally allowed Rob Porter to hang around the White House months after the FBI sent over reports to the White House Personnel Security Office.

“This would have been sent to McGahn’s desk as soon as the personnel office heard about it,” said a former administration official who dealt with hiring staff in the Obama White House.

Further, the experts said, it would normally be McGahn’s responsibility to alert the president and chief of staff that Porter was not fit to receive classified information.

Don McGahn is always in the news, because he’s Donald Trump’s hit man—the guy who Trump turns to when he wants a tissue-thin excuse that he’s not to blame for his own actions. And that’s especially true for everything related to Trump’s attempts to impede the Russia investigation.

[McGahn] has served as an adviser, a participant and most recently a witness in the continuing Russia investigation — a complex role that puts him at the center of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s examination of whether Trump sought to obstruct justice.

The White House counsel is not supposed to be Trump’s personal attorney, much less his instrument for carrying out obstruction. But that’s exactly the role that McGahn is playing.