Former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn confirmed before a congressional panel last week that former President Donald Trump urged him to oust special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia, according to a transcript released Wednesday.
The closed-door interview on June 4 was the culmination of a two-year court fight Democrats waged against the Trump administration, putting McGahn on record before the House Judiciary Committee on some of the most pivotal moments of the Trump presidency, including when Trump directed McGahn to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller -- and McGahn refused.
McGahn said on Friday he considered Trump's request "a point of no return."
"If the Acting Attorney General received what he thought was a direction from the counsel to the President to remove a special counsel, he would either have to remove the special counsel or resign," McGahn said. "We are still talking about the 'Saturday Night Massacre' decades and decades later."
McGahn told the committee that he didn't call Rosenstein in part because he feared that Rosenstein could resign if he felt pressured.
"What I was not going to do is cause any sort of chain reaction that would cause this to spiral out of control in a way that wasn't in the best interests, at least as a lawyer, what I thought was in the best interests of my client, which was the President," said McGahn.
McGahn had already described Trump's maneuvers to the Mueller team, but the Trump administration had blocked him from repeating the interviews with Congress.
10 Qer 2021