Author Topic: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel  (Read 1027 times)

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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2018, 08:58:51 PM »

Offline blink

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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.

I agree 100%.  It was in the original first NYT article about this where McGahn and his lawyer felt they needed to come clean 100% with Mueller in case Trump tried to pin any obstruction of justice on him. 

A second article (link below) goes even further describing how little the White House knows about what McGahn has told Mueller.  Very interesting read.  This part especially:

'Mr. Trump’s lawyers realized on Saturday that they had not been provided a full accounting after The New York Times published an article describing Mr. McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s office. After Mr. McGahn was initially interviewed by the special counsel’s office in November, Mr. Trump’s lawyers never asked for a complete description of what Mr. McGahn had said, according to a person close to the president.'

'Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck, gave the president’s lawyers a short overview of the interview but few details, and he did not inform them of what Mr. McGahn said in subsequent interactions with the investigators, according to a person close to Mr. Trump. Mr. McGahn and Mr. Burck feared that Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible wrongdoing, so they embraced the opening to cooperate fully with Mr. Mueller in an effort to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn had done nothing wrong'

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/19/us/politics/don-mcgahn-trump-mueller.html


Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2018, 09:24:04 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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I am not sure what to make of these Dowd statements.  On the one hand, he is confirming that the Trump legal team had a strategy to cooperate including waiving privilege.  Then he gets defensive with the statement that the alternative would have been a nightmare/war.  So was the decision to waive privilege an act of transparency (which is what he is saying out of one side of his mouth) or simply a decision to take the lesser of two evils which he is saying out of the other side of his mouth?

He is also claiming that he debriefed him and knows what information was provided but this contradicts the reporting which claims McGahn's lawyer (not McGahn) only provided an overview of the initial interview.  So did Dowd debrief McGahn as he claims or did he just get an overview from McGahn's lawyer.  Something does not add up here but I am not sure what it is.

Quote
“Pure fiction on claims of pushback by McGahn,” Mr. Dowd told The Washington Times. “Don McGahn was a terrific witness for the president. I debriefed him.

Mr. Dowd also defended the Trump administration’s open-book legal strategy of providing extensive access to witnesses and documents. He said Mr. Mueller told him that no one lied and no documents were withheld.

“It’s worked out fine because now Mueller is empty,” Mr. Dowd said. “We’ve answered all his questions. … And he’s said the president has no exposure.”

Mr. Trump’s decision to decline to assert executive and attorney-client privilege has come into question, but Mr. Dowd said “it was smarter to be transparent and get the case over with.”

“We made available 37 witnesses and a million documents,” said Mr. Dowd. “In terms of McGahn, he’s right at the heart of the case and they had a lot to cover with him and a lot of notes. It was all routine and very normal. The anonymous sources that criticize us for our strategy don’t realize that the alternative was a nightmare, just a war.

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2018, 12:05:49 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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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).

Why is that distinction hard for you to buy?

If an attorney is paid for by the U.S. Government to represent the Executive Office (such as to argue for policy or against claims against the Administration in court) isn't that different from an attorney hired by an individual in the Executive Office to represent that individual against claims of misconduct by that individual?
NBA Officiating - Corrupt?  Incompetent?  Which is worse?  Does it matter?  It sucks.
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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2018, 11:32:36 AM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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In case anyone was wondering who our extremely innocent President sympathizes with in Watergate, he assured Americans over the weekend that McGahn wasn't being a "John Dean-type 'RAT'".


I still don't know what to make of the story itself. It's news, but we already knew he'd talked to Mueller, and Haberman & Schmidt have a rep as access journalists who work closely with Trump and top staff. There are several characterizations in the article (like how "transparent" Trump was prior to hiring Flood) that stick out like sore thumbs.

Given the spin getting put on it by Trump and others it seems like the admin may have offered specifics on the interviews to tee up claims that they had already cooperated excessively and excuse lack of cooperation in the future. Or it could just be McGahn trying to cover his butt by getting the story out - much of it's clearly coming from his camp. It's hard to pin down the motive but it's definitely coming from some of the principals involved, so I take it with a grain of salt.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 12:48:15 PM by fairweatherfan »

Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2018, 11:56:23 AM »

Offline nickagneta

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Re: Don McGahn cooperation with Mueller / special counsel
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2018, 06:54:55 PM »

Offline hpantazo

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Interesting comments from John Dean on the subject.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/08/19/john-dean-trump-tweet-rat-mcgahn-bpr-nr-vpx.cnn

Very interesting. He basically confirms, as others had said, that it is the responsibility of McGahn to support the Office of the President, not the president himself, i.e. Trump, which was made clear after the Nixon debacle.

Also, I believe that his assumption that Trump hides things from his lawyers and gets himself into trouble by it, often not even understanding how harmful some of his behavior can be, is a legit possibility. It's probably the primary reason so many high level attorneys passed on working for him on this case. It's hard to do a good job when your client thinks they know more than you and don't tell you important pieces of information that you need to properly defend them.

He may really believe McGahn won't say anything to incriminate him, and he may have failed to state several key points to his lawyers that McGahn can sink him on.