President Donald Trump was deeply suspicious of his former White House counsel Don McGahn — who may have saved him from getting charged with obstructing justice.
The president badly wanted to obstruct the investigations into his campaign ties to Russia, according to McGahn’s testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller, but his White House counsel and others simply disregarded his corrupt orders, reported Axios.
“Don had an unenviable job of trying to school the first outsider president in the legal ways of Washington,” a source close to McGahn told the website.
McGahn appears on 66 pages of Mueller’s 448-page report, and his testimony shows multiple instances where Trump asked him to make false or misleading statements or otherwise interfere with the special counsel investigation.
“When the President called McGahn a second time to follow up on the order to call the Department of Justice,” Mueller found, “McGahn recalled that the President was more direct, saying something like, ‘Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can’t be the Special Counsel.’ McGahn recalled the President telling him ‘Mueller has to go’ and ‘Call me back when you do it.'”
McGahn said he’d already told the president he would not do that, but he gave Trump the impression he would speak with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein about Mueller in order to end the phone conversation.
The White House counsel decided he must resign rather than carry out Trump’s corrupt order, but then-chief of staff Reince Priebus and then-chief strategist Steve Bannon urged him to stay on — which he ultimately did.
Trump, according to Mueller’s report, questioned why McGahn took notes during meetings, and a source told Axios the president even became suspicious the White House counsel might be wearing a wire late in his tenure.