Top White House lawyer to leave as Russian Federation probe heats up

Trump lawyer McGahn, Mueller cooperator, may leave White House

Citing unnamed sources, Axios said McGahn will leave after Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court or after the midterm elections.

Mr Trump tweeted that he had given Mr McGahn permission to talk with investigators and that he nothing to hide. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Trump's announcement came more than a week after a New York Times report that McGahn had been cooperating extensively with Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with Trump's Republican campaign.

More quietly, away from the scandals that dominate news coverage, McGahn helped Trump select a record number of conservative federal judges in what may prove to be one of Trump's more consequential moves as president.

In recent months, as he has worked on the Kavanaugh confirmation, McGahn's challenges have only mounted.

"White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter overnight.


ABC News' Tara Palmeri and Katherine Faulders contributed reporting to this article.

"He was surprised", the source said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hailed McGahn as the "most impressive White House Counsel during my time in Washington".

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. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted after the president's announcement: "I hope it's not true McGahn is leaving White House Counsel".

McGahn, who counts deep ties within Washington's legal community, has long functioned as Trump's liaison to Justice officials and Congress. His general attitude after 18 months in this White House, this person said, was "of course it happened this way". Flynn was forced to resign after reports revealed Yates' warning to McGahn about Flynn's conduct. Sessions eventually did recuse himself, giving his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, the ultimate authority to appoint a special counsel.

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