Former White House Counsel complying with Trump’s request not to testify…a month after his law firm was paid $2 million by the RNC
[see update at bottom of post]
Yesterday, the Office of Legal Counsel released an opinion that Congress cannot compel McGahn to testify about his official duties when he worked in the White House. Trump then sent a letter to McGahn directing him not to testify. McGahn told Chairman Nadler he will not show up today at the scheduled hearing, as the subpoena required.
Interestingly, the RNC’s latest FEC filings reveal a total of $2 million paid to Jones Day for legal services last month. Why is this interesting? Because Don McGahn is currently a partner at Jones Day.
We must then ask: What role did the RNC’s massive payments to Jones Day play in McGahn’s decision to abide by Trump’s request? It should be noted that legal experts have said as a former employee McGahn is not required to follow Trump’s directive.
It should also be noted that Trump’s campaign dumped Jones Day out of “disappointment” in McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mueller. According to Politico, Jones Day was paid a total of $5.5 million in legal fees since the start of the 2016 Trump campaign. To really answer my question above, we’ll have to see if these large payments from the RNC to Jones Day continue. In other words, $5.5 million in 3+ years versus $2 million in one month, and maybe more.
NEW: The AP reports that Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with Jones Day if McGahn were to defy Trump and testify. I think we found our answer.