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McGahn's lawyer pushes back after Giuliani knocks his credibility

The Hill logo The Hill 4/20/2019 Tal Axelrod

Don McGahn wearing a suit and tie: McGahn's lawyer pushes back after Giuliani knocks his credibility © Getty McGahn's lawyer pushes back after Giuliani knocks his credibility An attorney for former White House counsel Don McGahn is pushing back after President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani went after McGahn's credibility following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

McGahn's lawyer responded after Giuliani gave interviews to The New York Times and The Washington Post in which he went after McGahn's account of various instances of potential obstruction of justice detailed in the special counsel report.

"It's a mystery why Rudy Giuliani feels the need to re-litigate incidents the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have concluded were not obstruction. But they are accurately described in the report," McGahn's attorney William Burck said in a statement to The Hill.

"Don, nonetheless, appreciates that the President gave him the opportunity to serve as White House Counsel and assist him with his signature accomplishments," he added.

Attorney General William Barr released Mueller's report on Thursday, revealing that the special counsel found no evidence of coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russia in 2016. Mueller also stated that his report neither implicated nor exonerated Trump on the question of obstruction of justice, though Barr has declined to pursue such a case based on the probe's findings.

McGahn was featured prominently in Mueller's conclusions after sitting down for several hours' worth of interviews with the special counsel.

The report said that McGahn refused repeated requests from Trump during the probe to deny that the president had asked McGahn to fire Mueller.

"If McGahn thought any of those things were crimes, why did he stay there?" Giuliani asked Friday during an interview with The Washington Post. "They're trying to make it out as if there's something illegal about what happened with McGahn. The guy is a very good lawyer."

"If he believed that there was something illegal, he wouldn't have stayed in his job," he added.

Giuliani also went after McGahn's account to Mueller in an interview with The New York Times.

"It can't be taken at face value," Giuliani told the newspaper. "It could be the product of an inaccurate recollection or could be the product of something else."

Reports initially emerged last year that the president had ordered McGahn to remove Mueller and that McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out the directives.

"Each time he was approached, McGahn responded that he would not refute the press accounts because they were accurate in reporting on the President's efforts to have the Special Counsel removed," Mueller wrote in his report.

McGahn served as White House counsel starting at the beginning of Trump's presidency in early 2017 until last fall, when he left the administration following the successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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