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White House lawyer Donald McGahn 'cooperating extensively' with Robert Mueller

19 August 2018

The White House's top lawyer has cooperated extensively with the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA election, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he had "nothing to hide" from the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and denied that his top lawyer had turned on him by cooperating with the probe.

In more than 30 hours of testimony over the past nine months, the Times said McGahn laid out for investigators Trump's fury over the probe and the ways in which he asked McGahn to respond to it.

Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, learned of the incident in subsequent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in an inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

The counter-punch comes after days of criticism from former USA national security officials and military leaders who've cast Trump's cancellation of Brennan's clearance - an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the president - as a risky precedent. McGahn is reportedly hoping that his participation will help him avoid the fate of Nixon-era White House Counsel John W. Dean, who pled guilty to obstruction of justice during the Watergate scandal.

Giuliani also tried to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with Mueller's team wouldn't accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses' recollections.

The US President tweeted it was his decision to let McGahn, as well as other White House staffers, to talk to Mueller, and provided over a million pages of papers.

Trump views the investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller as a stain on his presidency, and has repeatedly pushed for it to be ended.

As well as collusion, the special counsel is scrutinising whether there were any attempts by the president to obstruct justice.

Mr McGahn's own lawyer on Saturday said his client had "answered the Special Counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly".

In a statement to The New York Times, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president and Don have a great relationship". "I allowed [McGahn] and all others to testify ― I didn't have to".

"That didn't work", Dershowitz said.

However, Giuliani said there was no need for him to speak with Mueller.

He continued: "Some members of the media are very Angry at the Fake Story in the New York Times". He didn't obstruct an investigation.

White House lawyer Donald McGahn 'cooperating extensively' with Robert Mueller