According to a report from the New York Times, the threat of a White House counsel mutiny prevented President Donald Trump from following through with firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year. The story has surfaced not far removed from Trump’s confident declaration that he was “looking forward” to speaking with Mueller’s team under oath.
The Times spoke with four people told of the matter. Trump was said to have ordered Mueller’s firing last June. Two of the sources noted that “the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation.” The conflicts that concerned Trump include a dispute over golf club membership fees and Mueller’s previously working for a law firm that had represented his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to obey Trump’s order to fire Mueller. He believed Trump canning Mueller would bring disastrous results to the administration and that Trump wouldn’t follow through with the firing personally. As a result, the Times sources say Trump backed down.
Trump lawyer Ty Cobb provided a statement on the alleged Mueller dismissal attempt.
“We decline to comment out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process,” said Cobb.
(Via New York Times)