Monday, August 20, 2018

Watergate revisited: Trump's White House counsel cooperates with Mueller investigation

New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt broke a blockbuster story explaining that the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, “cooperated extensively” with Robert Mueller’s investigation.
According to the Times, McGahn spoke to the special counsel’s office for as much as 30 hours, on at least three separate occasions. Although what he said remains unknown, Haberman and Schmidt report that his testimony was sparked, at least in part, by the fear that “Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction” after Trump’s (now former) lawyers, John Dowd and Ty Cobb, encouraged McGahn to talk to Mueller as part of their “open-book strategy.” 
Reminiscent of the Watergate scandal McGahn was out to protect himself more than sink Trump. According to Slate the story suggests,  “Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry, Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John W. Dean, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate scandal.” 
Near the end of the piece, Haberman and Schmidt note—wryly—that “as the months passed on, it became apparent that Mr. McGahn and [his lawyer] had overestimated the amount of thought that they believed the president put into his legal strategy.”
To read interview with John Dean CLICK HERE

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