President Trump seems to have relied on the White House counsel’s office for advice on declaring a national emergency—but then disregarded the office’s repeatedly expressed doubts about the legal basis for the declaration.
Latest in White House Counsel
President Trump’s latest broad assertion of his own power to disregard constitutional law will be an important test for the new or acting White House counsel.
If McGahn is not what the president would have preferred in a counsel to the Trump administration, McGahn has clearly succeeded to a significant degree as the chief White House lawyer in a Republican administration.
Last month, Lawfare and Foreign Policy hosted an event on lawyering for the Trump presidency. Susan Hennessey spoke with former White House Counsels Bob Bauer, who served in the Obama administration from 2010 to 2011, and A.B. Culvahouse, who served in the Reagan administration from 1987 to 1989, in a lively discussion on providing legal support when your client is the president.
The Trump administration's recent missteps should turn our attention to the question of whether Don McGahn is fulfilling his responsibilities as White House Counsel.
There's a lot we don't know about how and why White House Counsel McGahn concluded that the Flynn matter raised no legal issues.