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Former White House lawyer says dismissing Mueller would have been a “no return point”

Former White House adviser Don McGahn made the Justice Department feel “trapped” in his position by ordering the Justice Department to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller at the behest of former President Trump. He said it was a “non-returning point.”

But in him testimony McGarn agreed with other presidential decisions, including dismissing former FBI Director James Comey, saying he had not witnessed any violations or obstructions of law in front of the House Judiciary Committee after a two-year court battle. ..

McGarn’s testimony is Mueller’s report About Russian interference and judicial obstruction. It provided some of his decision-making and background to testimony to the special counsel, but there were few new revelations about what happened at the time.

McGarn testified that the former president had repeatedly asked him to tell former Deputy Secretary Rod Rosenstein that there were conflicts of interest that would prevent Mueller from serving as a special counsel. did. After so many discussions, McGarn said he felt “trapped” in the request and was ready to resign if asked to do so again.

According to McGarn, his concern about calling Rosenstein was that the former deputy prosecutor could react in a way that could cause him to resign, a chain that wouldn’t benefit anyone. It can cause a reaction. ”

He described this moment as a “inflection point” in Mueller’s report to the special counsel, and described it as a “non-return point” in an interview with the House Judiciary Committee.

“If the Deputy Attorney General receives what he thinks the president has instructed him to dismiss the special counsel, he will have to dismiss or resign.” Said.

McGarn talks about the infamous Saturday night massacre when up to two officials of then-President Richard Nixon of the Justice Department resigned instead of executing orders to dismiss Nixon’s special counsel Archibald Cox. Mentioned.

“We’re still talking about the’Saturday Night Massacre’ decades later, and in retrospect, as a student of history, you always have different things when different people make different decisions. Did we go in the right direction? “McGarn said. “This was like an inflection point. It’s time to brake and not call Rod to raise this issue that the president has been raising with me. It’s easier for me. It seemed to me that it wouldn’t be in the best interests of the president, rather than causing a chain reaction that wouldn’t make a phone call and cause any fever or fallout. “

But after a while, McGarn warned not to read the analogy too much, as Mr. Trump “never approached, for example, an order to close Mueller’s office. It was a conflict with Mueller.” ..

McGarn said Mr. Trump never called him directly and asked him to fire him. He also said he supported the former president on another controversial issue, his decision to dismiss Comey.

“The story at the time was that, as I remember, the dismissal of the FBI Director was a matter of its own. In my view, it wasn’t. It was within the power of the President. It was, “said McGarn.

In a statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said, “A direct explanation of President Trump’s increasingly uncontrollable behavior and the actions of the former president could expose both Trump and McGarn to criminals. It provided the Commission with substantial new information, including insights into concerns about sexuality. ” responsibility. “

“In the end, Mr. McGarn’s testimony gives us a fresh view of how dangerously President Trump has brought us closer to the” no-return point “in Mr. McGarn’s words.” He added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised McGarn’s testimony as a “victory of democracy.”

However, the Commission’s top Republican, Jim Jordan, argues in an interview that there was no evidence of cheating, cheating, or crime by the former president, and that efforts to curb other inquiries from the administration were not revealed. Announced a memo.

McGarn’s testimony in front of the panel represents the culmination of many years of controversy over the subpoena issued by the Judiciary Committee in April 2019 after Mueller released his long-awaited report. McGarn voluntarily met with Mueller’s investigators and was widely cited in the Special Counsel’s Volume on Judiciary Obstruction, in which Mr. Trump did not conclude whether he was guilty or not guilty of such a crime.

Under the court Agreement Because of his testimony, McGarn could only answer questions about what he said to the special counsel and the episodes mentioned in his publicly available version of the report.

Zak Hudak, Nikole Killion, Paulina Smolinski and Fritz Farrow contributed to this report.

Former White House lawyer says dismissing Mueller would have been a “no return point”

Source link Former White House lawyer says dismissing Mueller would have been a “no return point”

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