Trump calls former White House counsel Don McGahn a liar — and forbids him from responding
In the report from special counsel Robert Mueller, former White House counsel Don McGahn is one of the most cited witnesses. That’s because McGahn’s testimony speaks so clearly to multiple instances of obstruction. In particular, the report indicates that Trump both tried to get McGahn to have the special counsel fired:
On June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed.
The report also shows that when word that Trump had ordered McGahn to end the investigation reached the press, Trump called McGahn back to his office and ordered him to deny the first order. In fact Trump “made repeated attempts to get McGahn to change his story.” Now that the White House counsel’s testimony is out there in the public, Trump has settled on a strategy that seems like a perfect encapsulation of who Trump is, and how he believes things should work.
Trump is using both press appearances and his Twitter account to claim that the Mueller report is wrong and that “I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so.” At the same time, the Trump White House has announced it will fight a subpoena from Congress over calling McGahn to testify and to produce related documents. Trump wants to be able to state his version of “reality,” and make sure that no one else can speak or show evidence that might contradict his statement.
Trump expanded on his claim that either McGahn or the special counsel was lying by saying that “Mueller was not fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work.” Which might sound almost reasonable, had Trump not called Mueller a “Trump hater who was highly conflicted” and called the investigation “illegal” in that very same sentence where he said it was “respectfully allowed to finish its work.”
What the report actually says that Trump stonewalled investigators, withheld critical information, tampered with witnesses, suborned perjury, provided inadequate answers, and simply lied. It also states that Trump’s obstruction makes it impossible to say for sure whether or not there was a criminal conspiracy with Russia.
Trump’s blanket refusal to respond to subpoenas is unprecedented, and it’s not just restricted to his response to the Mueller report. Since Democrats took control of the House in January, the White House has not responded to either a request or a subpoena by providing a single page of documentation or allowing a single official to testify.
Just as with McGahn, Trump believes he can say anything he wants, while silencing those who could provide the truth.
However, these clear instances of obstruction, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress do have a history of causing issues in the past…
Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon
… failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.