Russiagate Open Thread: Don McGahn, Smarter Than the Average Trump Hire

Which, admittedly, not a high bar!

NBC, this afternoon:

The House Judiciary Committee has set May 21 as the date for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify, although McGahn has not yet confirmed his attendance.

The committee wants McGahn to address the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, in particular, the part of the report that says that President Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller, a request McGahn refused to carry out. Mr. Trump has indicated that he will not allow McGahn to testify before Congress because he already spent about 30 hours speaking to Mueller’s investigators…

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler also threatened Tuesday to hold McGahn in contempt if he didn’t respond to a congressional subpoena for Mueller’s documents.

CBS News also confirmed last week that the White House asked McGahn to publicly state after the release of the Mueller report that Mr. Trump had not obstructed justice. A source familiar with the matter told CBS News that White House lawyer Emmet Flood made the request, which McGahn did not comply with.

“We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister,” said McGahn’s attorney, William Burck. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”…

McGahn and Trump go way ‘back — here’s an early 2016 profile from the Washington Post reporter who broke the Aaron Schock story:

McGahn is one of the top election lawyers in the country, a job so highly specialized that its practitioners are almost unavoidably “Washington insiders” by definition. He is credited as one of the people most responsible for loosening regulations on campaign spending, an enabler of the corporate electioneering against which Trump has defined his candidacy. His wife, Shannon McGahn, is staff director for the House Financial Services Committee, a role that makes her a magnet for the very lobbyists that Trump regularly pillories…

Terris goes on to report that McGahn’s uncle was Trump’s long-time fixer in Atlantic City; that McGahn had worked for Nixon’s old law firm, and spent ten years as counsel for National Republican Convention Committee; that he’s “reported to be a bit of an iconoclast.” And then, also…

Shortly after McGahn started at Jones Day he picked up a new client: Aaron Schock, the congressman who was reeling from a scandal involving the misuse of federal funds and has since left office. To this day, according to FEC reports, Schock has still not paid Jones Day the nearly $750,000 he owes them. (Jones Day representatives also did not return calls.)

Getting stiffed by Schock put McGahn in a difficult position with his new law partners, said a Republican strategist who has worked with him. “He had this huge hole to fill. And when Trump came along, he was under a lot of pressure by management to fill that hole.”

So far, according to FEC reports, Trump has filled nearly $700,000 of that hole…

Apparently McGahn insisted Trump pay in advance. As I said: Smarter, at least, than the media-hungry has-beens and failed novelty toilet salesman otherwise prominent among the Trump legal team.

Begins to sound that way, doesn’t it?

Keep in mind — McGahn also made sure that notes were kept. Receipts, he haz them!






20 replies
  1. 1
    Ruckus says:

    So, Don may be as conservative as the day is long, but he doesn’t seem stupid enough to ask to be put in jail. And I thought honest conservative was an oxymoron.

  2. 2
    mrmoshpotato says:

    McGahn had worked for Nixon’s old law firm, and spent ten years as counsel for National Republican Convention Committee

    I’m good with exhuming Tricky Dick, so we can all punch him in the face. I’m so fucking sick of this shit. #AWFDY

  3. 3
    Jay says:

    @Ruckus:

    I wouldn’t say he’s “honest”, just not a moron.

  4. 4
    Keith P. says:

    @Jay: McGahn just doesn’t want to end up getting disbarred. Same reason he won’t come out publicly against Trump – his career as he knows it would be over.

  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    He may be smarter than the average Republican, but he’s just as sleazy. He was in the front row of the Kavanaugh hearings rooting Bart on like he was at a baseball game, next to the lady who kept “accidentally” flashing the OK/WhitePower sign.

  6. 6
    Jay says:

    @Keith P.:

    Yup, not “honest”, just not a moron.

    He know’s that he can be held “accountable” by Contempt, Criminal Charges, disBarr-ment, but he also know’s if he shivs Insane Clown POSus, no ReThug’s will ever throw work his way for a long time.

  7. 7
    Keith P. says:

    @Jay: More than that, since Trump feels like he can’t get sued for anything as POTUS, he’d have no problem tweeting out that law firm X,Y, & Z should have their RNC contracts revoked due to hiring Don McGahn. Anyone who has anything to do with Don McGahn would get blackballed (“and their friends’ friends”, etc)

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    @Keith P.:

    Yup, but his law specialty and the prominence of his Law Firm would keep them going, just not with the same level of influence.

  9. 9
    JWR says:

    “We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister,” said McGahn’s attorney, William Burck. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”…

    So, if a request to your client is presented in a professional and cordial way, then it’s not obstruction? Hmm. I did not know that…

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Start the impeachment now.

    BREAKING: The State Department is ordering non-essential staff out of Iraq. We are on the brink of war with Iran.— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) May 15, 2019

  11. 11
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Looks like House Democrats will be holding a whole lot of Trump regime officials in contempt.

  12. 12
    Jay says:

    @Mary G:

    You are not on the brink of war with Iran.

    State is just moving non-essential staff out of Iraq, due to the heightened tensions and the Iraqi’s telling Pompeo and Boulton to fuck off with their war bullshit.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They should stop beating around the bush and hold all of them in contempt because who doesn’t already?

  14. 14
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Haha. Well put.

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    Trump’s already acknowledged obstruction. During his rally last week, he said there was “essentially no obstruction.” Essentially? Like a little bit pregnant?

  16. 16
    Bobs says:

    @Mary G: I thought that thing about the Jewish-Mexican law clerk flashing the ‘white power’ sign had been discredited?

  17. 17
    Anya says:

    @Bobs: I believe she was trolling. She flashed the white power sign several times. Each time, accidentally. She knew what she was doing. She knew how people will react.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @Jay:
    Give me a break, it was late, I was using honest ironically. Like honest republican politician.

  19. 19
    Xenos says:

    Incredible that 45 would think he could claim privilege yet command the lawyer in question to make statements about it. I have had stupid clients before, but this has got to set some sort of record.

  20. 20
    Barry says:

    @Ruckus:
    “So, Don may be as conservative as the day is long, but he doesn’t seem stupid enough to ask to be put in jail. And I thought honest conservative was an oxymoron.”

    Not necessarily honest, but understanding the borders of where a lawyer is culpable/non-culpable. That was my opinion of Sessions and Russiagate. He figured (wrongly, so far) that shutting it down would take him down, as well – better to be eventually fired than imprisoned.

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