President Donald Trump fired White House Counsel Don McGahn Wednesday morning in a tweet that McGahn reportedly had no idea was coming.
“White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump wrote. “I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!”
White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
According to Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post, McGahn was “surprised, though attitude was ‘of course it happened this way.'”
McGahn did not know about Trump's tweet before it was sent and had not previously discussed his departure plans with POTUS, though it was open secret in the WH. He was surprised, though attitude was "of course it happened this way." https://t.co/csLnGJ4agm
— Rosalind Helderman (@PostRoz) August 29, 2018
McGahn’s departure comes days after it was revealed that he spent more than 30 hours providing testimony and documents to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Trump-Russia collusion and the president’s alleged attempts to obstruct justice.
The president’s announcement was met with shock and bewilderment inside Washington political circles.
Particularly from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who responded on Twitter in such an earnest pure way:
@realDonaldTrump I hope it’s not true McGahn is leaving WhiteHouse Counsel. U can’t let that happen
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 29, 2018
Grassley’s office followed up his tweet with a statement about McGahn.
Following Trump's tweet confirming that Don McGhan will soon be leaving the White House, @ChuckGrassley tweeted: "I hope it’s not true McGahn is leaving WhiteHouse Counsel. U can’t let that happen"
Asked about the tweet, Grassley's team offered this comment 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/nom3VqgLRN
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) August 29, 2018
Senator Grassley has admired Mr. McGahn’s work over the last two years and has considered him integral to the President’s record-breaking success on filling judicial vacancies. From Senator Grassley’s perspective, there’s not been any White House Counsel who has worked so well and so efficiently with the chairman’s office and the Senate Judiciary Committee on judges.
Grassley’s tweet was met with immediate mockery. Social media blasted the Iowa Republican for never having the stones to check Trump.
Why? You won't do anything about it anyway.
— Rick Waldron (@rwaldron) August 29, 2018
he'll write a sternly worded letter…. OH THE HUMANITY!
— Joe_Dee (@din5dale56) August 29, 2018
Maybe it’s time for a co-equal branch to step up and do the work of oversight. If only we knew people with that kind of power. Hmm. 🤔
— Katherine Robinson (@KMR31871) August 29, 2018
Lol….you've repeatedly signaled to this despot that yoi won't do anything more than tweet and/or shake your head disapprovingly.
Of course he's going to become more and more bold in his attempts to obstruct the investigation into Russia.
— Corey "House Cradle" of the North Carolina (@ccradle) August 29, 2018
Others think Grassley is “panicking” because he knows McGahn has dirt on Trump – and likely others in Republican politics. Also, big points for the S.A.T. word, “quisling.” Nice.
"U can't let this happen" like it's not Trump pushing him out. Grassley is just scared as hell because once he leaves Trump can not use executive privilege over him.
Chuckie knows this will be a disaster.
— I Can't Keep Quiet (@SIippery_Slope) August 29, 2018
So you know McGahn will be a star witness to obstruction of justice & your complicity.
That's what's so great! pic.twitter.com/HgRbIHAFoH
— Chief's Wife (@sharondigi) August 29, 2018
George Conway, the husband of White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, suggested Grassley “remember the Eighth Amendment.”
remember the eighth amendment, senator
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 29, 2018
On Monday, reports indicated that Trump was at odds with McGahn over the prospect of pardoning Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair who was convicted of eight felonies earlier this month. McGahn, it was said, staunchly opposed the idea.
It’s not that Trump is “letting” that happen, dipshidiot. He making it happen because McGahn won’t sign off on a pardon for Manafort because it would be a sign of guilt by Trump. It’s corruption.
— Tio Santiago (@TioSantiagoG) August 29, 2018
@ChuckGrassley we all know this is part of trump's plan to pardon Paul Manafort who is clearly guilty of numerous felonies. Do the right thing, @ChuckGrassley! We remember the town hall where you said you'd release the documents. What's holding you back?
— jamiesrice (@jamiesrice) August 29, 2018
He likely fired him because he spoke with Mueller for 30+ hours and won't legitimate his desire to fire Sessions — but hey maybe do your job of oversight of this administration and his lawlessness might be a good use of your time!
— Leanne O (@TImshel_Hope) August 29, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, is set to begin his confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate on September 4th, but Democrats are pushing to delay those hearings, in part because of a lack of transparency when it comes to Kavanaugh’s records from when he worked in the White House.
And Grassley, as Chairman of Judiciary, has been key to that lack of transparency. People called Grassley out for this as well.