Former White House attorney Don McGahn leaves Capitol Hill after meeting in camera with the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on June 4. McGahn, a witness in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Muellers, was first summoned by the committee two years ago but was summoned by the White House. Drew Angerer / Getty Images Hide caption
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Testimony from former Trump administration officer Don McGahn was released on WednesdayDays after the former White House attorney and lead witness testified in camera before a session of Congress during the Russia investigation.
While McGahn’s testimony before the Democrat-led Justice Committee of the House of Representatives largely reprocessed much of what was already public knowledge, McGahn’s remarks showed the extent to which he felt pressured into wrongdoing by former President Donald Trump.
McGahn said he was particularly concerned about Trump’s repeated requests that McGahn facilitate the dismissal of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was tasked with investigating possible links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
“After talking to the president, how did I feel? Uff. Frustrated, worried, trapped. Lots of emotions,” McGahn said of a specific phone call. according to an official transcript of the hearing.
McGahn described a situation he feared would “get out of control” and “reach a point of no return” if he followed Trump’s insistence on calling then Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Mueller.
“If the acting attorney general received what he thought was an attorney’s instruction to the president to remove a special adviser, he would either have to remove the special investigator or resign,” McGahn said.
“We still talk about the Saturday Night Massacre decades and decades later,” he continued, referring to layoffs and resignations during the Watergate scandal of disgraced former President Richard Nixon.
McGahn’s remarks to the panel come afterward a two year legal battle to get his testimony on Trump’s actions in the context of the Russia investigation and the investigation into a possible obstruction of the judiciary. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee first asked him to testify in 2019, but Trump’s White House blocked McGahn from speaking to the panel, arguing that McGahn’s status in government granted him immunity from testifying in Congress.
The dispute was resolved Last month. The private session, which had neither members of the press nor members of Congress without a committee, was agreed after negotiations between McGahn’s attorneys, the committee, and Biden’s Department of Justice.
“Mr. McGahn provided the committee with a great deal of new information – including first-hand reports of President Trump’s increasingly out of control behavior and insights into concerns that the former President’s conduct could expose both Trump and McGahn to criminal liability,” said the chairman of the committee, Jerry Nadler, DN .Y., said in a statement.
“All in all, Mr McGahn’s testimony gives us a fresh look at how dangerous President Trump has made us, in the words of Mr McGahn, the ‘point of no return’. “
Republicans largely still loyalties held Trump, denied that the statement broke new ground.
“Unsurprisingly, the Democrats have not uncovered any new, substantive information that was not already disclosed in the special investigator’s report,” Republican committee officials said in an open letter to the panel. “Accordingly, the Democrats spent hours asking McGahn how he responded to a range of hypothetical and theoretical questions to create a basis for wrongdoing.”