Trump Announces White House Counsel McGahn to Leave After Kavanaugh Confirmation

Don McGahn / Getty Images
August 29, 2018

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave the administration after Brett Kavanaugh's expected confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter where he thanked McGahn for 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," Trump tweeted. "I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!"

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee are set to begin on Sept. 4, despite attempts from Democrats to delay them. To stop his confirmation, Democrats would have to unanimously oppose Kavanaugh and–assuming a Republican is appointed to fill the late Sen. John McCain's (R., Ariz.) seat–flip two Republicans to oppose the nominee. Some red-state Democrats who face close re-election battles may also vote to confirm him.

McGahn has recommended Trump name Emmet Flood, who three senior officials said is trusted and respected inside the White House, to succeed him as counsel, Axios reports. Flood was an advisor during the George W. Bush administration and the Bill Clinton administration during impeachment proceedings.

McGahn has served an important role in the Trump administration due to his leadership on the nomination and confirmation of federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch's confirmation. Recently, McGahn drew media attention after it was revealed he had met with special counsel Robert Mueller. While Axios notes McGahn has sometimes had a strained relationship with the president, the lawyer told a confidant he still expects to play an advisory role for Trump and his campaign.