Former White House adviser Don McGahn said telling the Justice Department to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller on former President Trump’s claims would be “The point of no return” that makes him feel “stuck” in his position.
But in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee after a two-year court battle, McGahn said he saw no violations of the law or obstruction of justice. and agree with other decisions of the president This includes the shooting of former FBI Director James Comey.
McGahn’s testimony comes nearly four years after the episode documented in Mueller̵7;s report on Russian interference and obstruction of justice. It even gave context to some of his decisions and testimony to the special counsel. But it gave a few new revelations about what was going on at the time.
McGahn testified that the former president asked him to tell former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller had a conflict of interest that would prevent him from serving as special counsel. The debate ensued so many times that McGahn said he felt “stuck” with the request and was ready to resign if he was asked to do so again.
McGahn said his concern about the Rosenstein call was the former deputy attorney general. “There could be a reaction in a way that could lead him to resign, and that would create a chain reaction that ignored anyone,” he said.
He described the period with the special counsel as a “tipping point” in Mueller’s report, and elaborated in his interview with House Judiciary, saying it would be “The point that will never return”
“If the Acting Attorney General receives what he thinks is a recommendation from the Presidential Counsel, remove the Special Counsel. He will have to remove the special counsel or resign,” McGahn said.
McGahn cited the infamous Saturday night massacre when two officials of President Richard Nixon at the Justice Department resigned instead of following Nixon’s order to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.
“We are still talking about ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ Decades and Decades Later and looking back as a history student You always wonder how things would change if people made different decisions,” McGahn said. “This seemed like a turning point. It’s time to hit the brakes and not call Rod to raise this issue that the President still brings up with me. It seems to me that it is easier to do. To not answer the call and suffer any heat or impact that would come rather than trigger a chain reaction that I think would not be in the best interests of the President.”
However, Moments later, McGahn warned against reading too many comparisons because of Mr Trump. “Never come close to an order to close Mueller’s office. It’s Mueller and controversy.”
McGahn says Mr. Trump never asked him to call Mueller directly and fire him. He also said he supported the former president on other controversial issues. His decision to fire Comey
“The lecture at that time As I remember, removing the FBI director was its own issue. In my opinion, that’s not. That’s within the president’s power,” McGahn said.
Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that McGahn “provided new information to the committee to the committee. including direct reports of President Trump’s uncontrollable behavior on the rise. and insights into concerns that the former president’s behavior could criminalize both Trump and McGahn.
“All said McGahn’s testimony gives us a new picture of how dangerous President Trump is. According to Mr McGahn ‘The point of no turning back,’” he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed McGahn’s testimony as a “Victory of Democracy”
But Jim Jordan, the head of the Republican Party committee has released a memo that contradicts this interview There was no evidence of misconduct, wrongdoing or criminal conduct of the former president. and without any effort To suspend other inquiries from the management
McGahn’s testimony before the panel marks the end of a multi-year dispute over a subpoena issued by the Judiciary Committee in April 2019 after Mueller released his long-awaited report. Mueller’s investigation is voluntary and is widely cited in the special counsel’s book on obstruction of justice. It did not conclude that Mr Trump was guilty or innocent of the charges.
Under the court’s agreement for his testimony, McGahn could only answer questions about what he told the special counsel and any episodes he was cited in the public version of the report.
Zak Hudak, Nikole Killion, Paulina Smolinski and Fritz Farrow contributed to this report.