Donald Trump raised the profile of the FBI’s Russia investigation by fueling speculation about whether President Obama wiretapped his phones. He then fired the guy in charge of that investigation, triggering the appointment of a special counsel. He also publicly and privately took steps to stymie that investigation, resulting in a probe into whether he obstructed justice. Now he’s losing patience and he knows who the real culprit of his calamity is: White House counsel Don McGahn. Politico writes:
Trump started the week by giving McGahn, a loyal supporter who was among the first Washington establishment figures to sign on with his presidential campaign, a dressing down in the Oval Office for not doing more to squash the Russia probe early on.
The episode — recounted by four people familiar with the conversation — came as part of a broader discussion on Monday about the president’s frustrations with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which now includes the question of whether Trump himself tried to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.
This is just so laughable. Trump has single-handedly driven this probe, starting with whom he hired to run his campaign to his incessant and incriminating tweets. But somehow McGahn is at fault for not squashing the probe. Perhaps, he should have broken both of Trump’s thumbs and flushed his phone down the toilet. That would have been a start.
The Russia probe is now being almost entirely handled by Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz, while McGahn focuses on things that normal White House counsels do, like vetting appointees and judges and offering legal advice about legislation and executive orders. But by taking aim at McGahn, Trump is once again cutting off his nose to spite his face.
McGahn’s fall from the president’s good graces is particularly noteworthy because he occupies such a crucial role in the White House. He’s one of the few senior members of the administration with Washington chops. As a former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, longtime campaign lawyer, and former attorney to House Republicans, he knows how to work the government’s levers of power, even if that involves jamming them up.
Keep it up, Trump! No one does it better.