Author Topic: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel  (Read 1017 times)

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Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« on: August 18, 2018, 04:20:10 PM »

Offline blink

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/us/politics/don-mcgahn-mueller-investigation.html

Well I guess all big news doesn't always happen on Friday.  McGahn has sat for 3 separate voluntary interviews with the special counsel totaling over 30 hours of testimony.

'Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.'
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 04:41:40 PM by blink »

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 07:24:43 PM »

Offline hpantazo

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I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention in this forum. This is a big deal. McGahn was a top Trump aide, and he's reportedly fully cooperating with Mueller to make sure he doesn't get thrown under the bus himself.

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 07:40:37 PM »

Offline Sophomore

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I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention in this forum. This is a big deal. McGahn was a top Trump aide, and he's reportedly fully cooperating with Mueller to make sure he doesn't get thrown under the bus himself.

Deleted comment; I don’t know what to make of this.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 07:46:12 PM by Sophomore »

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2018, 07:52:14 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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I get squeamish when I see attorneys discussing what would normally be privileged material.  Why Trump authorized the interviews, I have no idea.

I don’t really buy the “my client is the Presidency, rather than the President himself” distinction. If you’re having private legal discussions with the President, you have a duty to zealously represent your client and to keep communications privileged (unless some idiot waives that privilege).


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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 08:21:50 PM »

Offline ConnerHenry

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If Trump urged him to speak freely, is that legally interpreted as him waiving privileges?

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2018, 09:05:50 PM »

Offline hwangjini_1

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I get squeamish when I see attorneys discussing what would normally be privileged material.  Why Trump authorized the interviews, I have no idea.

I don’t really buy the “my client is the Presidency, rather than the President himself” distinction. If you’re having private legal discussions with the President, you have a duty to zealously represent your client and to keep communications privileged (unless some idiot waives that privilege).
Roy, you raise good point. But isnt McGahn an attorney for the PRESIDENCY/federal government? trump has his own personal lawyers.

since McGahn is not a "trump lawyer" his obligations may be to the government and its procedures.

but then again, you are the lawyer here, not me. let me know what you think please.
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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2018, 09:35:10 PM »

Offline blink

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I understand that Trump seemingly made a mistake here by not using exec priv for McGahn.  But at this point isn't that water under the bridge?  Trump just tweeted that he 'allowed' McGahn to speak with Mueller, whatever that means.  Trump seems to have waived the privilege.

McGahn could be a devastating witness for Mueller for the obstruction of justice case (and maybe the Russia conspiracy case as well) depending on how much he shared with prosecutors.  It was noted in the article that he was providing info on Trump's firing of Comey, Trump's urging of Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of the probe, and Trump's attempts to fire the special counsel.

It feels like this should be a huge deal.  But there is so much we don't know about what Mueller knows.  How many more of these type of bombshells are still out there?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 12:18:55 AM by blink »

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2018, 10:35:25 PM »

Offline mqtcelticsfan

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I get squeamish when I see attorneys discussing what would normally be privileged material.  Why Trump authorized the interviews, I have no idea.

I don’t really buy the “my client is the Presidency, rather than the President himself” distinction. If you’re having private legal discussions with the President, you have a duty to zealously represent your client and to keep communications privileged (unless some idiot waives that privilege).


Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2018, 10:45:32 PM »

Online nickagneta

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It says in the article that McGahn doesn't want to have the same fate as Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean, who was used as a scapegoat and had to do time, while Nixon never had to. Found that interesting. If Trump did nothing wrong, why would the White House counsel feel he may be used as a scapegoat?

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2018, 11:51:43 PM »

Offline hpantazo

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It says in the article that McGahn doesn't want to have the same fate as Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean, who was used as a scapegoat and had to do time, while Nixon never had to. Found that interesting. If Trump did nothing wrong, why would the White House counsel feel he may be used as a scapegoat?


Exactly. This feels like its going to be a huge issue soon for Trump imo.

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2018, 09:56:40 AM »

Offline arctic 3.0

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I get squeamish when I see attorneys discussing what would normally be privileged material.  Why Trump authorized the interviews, I have no idea.

I don’t really buy the “my client is the Presidency, rather than the President himself” distinction. If you’re having private legal discussions with the President, you have a duty to zealously represent your client and to keep communications privileged (unless some idiot waives that privilege).

This was settled during watergate.
WH council’s obligation is to the office of the presidency, not to any one occupying  the office.
This role is to insure that the occupant doesn’t do anything that will undermine the office.

Not much different from a corporate attorneys job being to rep the corp, not any individual employee.
If the employee’s interest aligns with the corp then they can expect the lawyer to serve their interest.
If the employees interest differs from the corps then they best get a new attorney.

In Mr Trumps case evidence suggests that those interests are not in alignment.

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2018, 10:12:22 AM »

Offline tazzmaniac

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I get squeamish when I see attorneys discussing what would normally be privileged material.  Why Trump authorized the interviews, I have no idea.

I don’t really buy the “my client is the Presidency, rather than the President himself” distinction. If you’re having private legal discussions with the President, you have a duty to zealously represent your client and to keep communications privileged (unless some idiot waives that privilege).

This was settled during watergate.
WH council’s obligation is to the office of the presidency, not to any one occupying  the office.
This role is to insure that the occupant doesn’t do anything that will undermine the office.

Not much different from a corporate attorneys job being to rep the corp, not any individual employee.
If the employee’s interest aligns with the corp then they can expect the lawyer to serve their interest.
If the employees interest differs from the corps then they best get a new attorney.

In Mr Trumps case evidence suggests that those interests are not in alignment.
TP

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2018, 08:14:10 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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This is hard to follow.  First, according to the reporting, Rob Porter (Staff secretary) tells McGahn that Trump wants him to issue a false statement (lie) about a conversation where Trump told McGahn to "see that Mueller was removed from his post".  In addition, Trump reportedly said that he would "get rid of" McGahn if he didn't do what he wanted.  After McGahn refused, Trump has a meeting where he denies that he ever told McGahn to remove Mueller, as a feeble attempt to cover his tracks and set it up to claim that McGahn is the liar.

Hmmm.  Kind of like when Trump reportedly told/asked Comey to go easy on Flynn but later denied he said it and talked tough about how Comey better hope there are no tapes of the conversation while claiming that Comey is a liar.  (See the pattern here?)

So for the legal experts here, is Trump trying to coerce the white house council to publicly lie about an attempt by Trump to obstruct justice by firing Mueller considered obstruction justice?  See, so not only did Trump obstruct justice in the first place but then he further tried to obstruct justice related to his original potential crime of obstruction of justice.

Yeah, I don't think it is so hard to figure out what McGahn has been telling Mueller.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377311-trump-considered-firing-wh-counsel-if-he-didnt-deny-threatening-to

Quote
President Trump reportedly considered firing White House counsel Don McGahn if he didn’t deny a report that he threatened to resign after Trump ordered him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, according to The New York Times.

In January, the Times reported that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired last year, but was stopped after McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out Trump’s order.

In the days after the Times published its report, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter reportedly told McGahn that Trump wanted him to release a statement denying that Trump wanted Mueller to be fired and that McGahn threatened to resign over the order.

According to the Times, Porter told McGahn that Trump had suggested he might “get rid of” McGahn if he didn’t issue the statement.

Trump later confronted McGahn in the Oval Office after he didn’t release a statement denying the Times report. During the meeting, which chief of staff John Kelly also attended, Trump told McGahn he had not ordered him to fire Mueller, people familiar with the meeting told the newspaper.

The Times reports McGahn told Trump he was wrong, and that he did ask McGahn to see that Mueller was removed from his post. Trump reportedly said he did not remember the conversation that way.

Trump’s conversation with McGahn was one of two conservations Trump had with witnesses interviewed by Mueller, according to the Times. Trump also asked former chief of staff Reince Priebus about his interview with Mueller’s investigators and whether they had been “nice.”

Mueller found out about Trump’s attempt to have him fired as his team began interviewing top current and former Trump officials, the Times reported in January.

McGahn interviewed with Mueller’s team in December as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 08:46:48 PM by Vermont Green »

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2018, 08:27:33 PM »

Online Cman

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I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention in this forum. This is a big deal. McGahn was a top Trump aide, and he's reportedly fully cooperating with Mueller to make sure he doesn't get thrown under the bus himself.

Or he's fully cooperating because he and Trump both feel there's nothing much to hide.
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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2018, 08:30:11 PM »

Offline hpantazo

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I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention in this forum. This is a big deal. McGahn was a top Trump aide, and he's reportedly fully cooperating with Mueller to make sure he doesn't get thrown under the bus himself.

Or he's fully cooperating because he and Trump both feel there's nothing much to hide.

He already stated that he's cooperating because he doesn't want to be the guy thrown under the bus and get charged for all the stuff that other people did, so I highly doubt that Trump having nothing to hide is the reason.