CNN is reporting that White House Counsel Don McGahn, who has agreed to cooperate in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russian investigation, spent more than 30 hours speaking to Mueller’s team. And during an interview with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin today, CNN senior legal analyst Jack Quinn and former deputy assistant secretary of policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Paul Rosenzweig both weighed in on McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller.
Baldwin asked Rosenzweig if it was a “no brainer” for McGahn to cooperate rather than taking the fall in the investigation. Rosenzweig responded, “I think it’s a no-brainer, and it’s a no-brainer for a more fundamental reason—which is that in the end, he doesn’t have that much of choice.”
Rosenzweig added that there is a “very limited scope to the confidentiality of (McGahn’s) discussions with the president, especially when they involve conduct that might be legitimately the subject of criminal investigation.”
When Baldwin drew a distinction between being a White House counsel and being President Donald Trump’s private lawyer, Quinn elaborated, “Don McGahn is not working for the president as his personal attorney….Don McGahn works for the people of the United States, like all government lawyers do. And in that regard, he has an obligation to cooperate in criminal inquiries, grand jury proceedings and the like.”
Quinn went on to say, “I think one of the really serious implications of this whole thing is that others are standing by—they see that Don McGahn went in and talked to the special counsel.”
With McGahn speaking to Mueller’s team, Quinn stressed, others are likely to do the same.
Quinn asserted, “(McGahn) had every interest in the world in telling all….Nobody wants to be the last one standing. Nobody wants to watch one’s colleagues go in (and) spill the beans and be the one who is last in line to cooperate. I think there’s a good chance you’ll see a lot of people making phone calls to the special counsel’s office, asking when their interview can take place.”