Former President Donald Trump‘s ex-lawyer says he suggested Trump to fireplace former FBI Director James Comey however informed him to keep away from inviting Comey to dinner to keep away from creating the notion of an “improper” relationship.
Don McGahn, who served as Trump’s White House counsel from January 2017 to October 2018, made the remarks throughout a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee final week. The transcript of the interview, which occurred two years after McGahn defied a Congressional subpoena to testify on issues associated to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian meddling within the 2016 election, was launched on Wednesday.
McGahn informed the committee that he “was in support of removing Comey” and had “told the president as much.” Comey was investigating alleged Russian interference earlier than the investigation was handed off to Mueller following his May 2017 dismissal. According to Comey, Trump tried to cease him from investigating ties between Russia and his first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn earlier than Flynn was fired on February 14, 2017.
McGahn stated that he informed Trump that he “should not” invite Comey to dinner on January 26, 2017 over fears that it could “look like there was something improper.” Trump didn’t comply with his lawyer’s recommendation, with Comey eating one-on-one with the then-president on the next day. Trump would later deny a declare that he requested Comey to pledge loyalty to him through the dinner.
“I was not at the dinner. I was not, as far as I know, part of the invite,” McGahn stated. “The idea of talking to the FBI Director in and of itself is not a problem. But given the circumstances here, of course, as a lawyer, I had concerns that this would appear to be something that could be problematic given the rest of the atmospherics.”
McGahn additionally recalled a dialog he had with Trump over whether or not the previous president may expertise “exposure” to the “nebulous charge” that he was “meddling or otherwise getting in the way” of Comey’s investigation into Flynn. When requested how he ended the dialog, McGahn stated he didn’t keep in mind whereas describing the difficulties of discussions with the ex-president.
“You rarely leave conversations with President Trump,” McGahn stated. “There’s never really a good beginning, middle, and end. It’s just — especially when you’re the counsel. You’re always kind of around.”
McGahn didn’t see Trump’s firing of Comey as obstruction, reasoning that such an motion was “within the President’s power.” However, when Trump requested that Mueller be fired within the midst of his investigation, McGahn considered the request as a “point of no return” that would set off “a chain reaction that I think would not be in the best interest of the President” and be “another fact that used to claim” that Trump was responsible of obstruction of justice.
Newsweek reached out to the workplace of Trump for remark.