Back in December of 2017 and January of 2018, numerous major media outlets ran stories about how Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice, and White House Counsel Don McGahn heroically tried to stop him. It was painfully obvious at the time that McGahn was the source for all of these stories, presumably because he wanted everyone to know that he wasn’t the one conspiring to obstruct justice. Where else would all these “McGahn the hero” stories have come from?
That doesn’t mean these stories weren’t true. Best anyone can tell in hindsight, McGahn was in fact doing everything he could to try to stop Trump from committing crimes. It’s just that you can often tell the source of a story simply by looking at who gets conspicuously painted as the hero of the story. Sure enough, McGahn is at it again tonight.
This week, Donald Trump asserted executive privilege over the documents that the House Judiciary Committee had subpoenaed from Don McGahn. This put McGahn in a bind. If he turns over the documents, the White House will say he committed a crime. If he doesn’t turn them over, the House will say he committed a crime. Now McGahn is in danger of being held in contempt of Congress, as everyone waits for the courts to rule on whether McGahn’s documents fall under executive privilege. In the meantime, McGahn – or ahem – sources close to McGahn – just delivered a bombshell to a major newspaper.
Since the redacted Mueller report was publicly released, Donald Trump’s White House has twice asked Don McGahn to publicly state that he doesn’t think Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. McGahn obviously refused those requests, and now he’s covering his backside by using the New York Times to make sure everyone knows the Trump regime tried. Remarkably, Trump and his unnamed White House officials may have committed obstruction – or witness tampering – by asking McGahn to do this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report