The president’s personal lawyers don’t know what White House counsel Donald McGann told the special counsel in 30 hours of interviews. Is everyone telling the truth? Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani said, “Truth isn’t truth.”
President Trump’s lawyers do not know just how much White House counsel Donald McGahn told the special counsel’s investigators during months of interviews, the New York Times reports. The lapse has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake. The president’s lawyers say they are confident that McGahn said nothing injurious to the president during the 30 hours of interviews. McGahn’s lawyer has offered only a limited accounting of what McGahn told the investigators. That has prompted concern among Trump’s advisers that McGahn’s statements could help serve as a key component for a damning report by special counsel Robert Mueller that the Justice Department could send to Congress.
After McGahn was initially interviewed by the special counsel’s office in November, Trump’s lawyers never asked for a complete description of what McGahn had said. McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, gave the president’s lawyers a short overview of the interview but few details, and he did not inform them of what McGahn said in subsequent interactions with the investigators. McGahn and Burck feared that Trump was setting up McGahn to take the blame for any possible wrongdoing, so they embraced the opening to cooperate fully with Mueller in an effort to demonstrate that McGahn had done nothing wrong. On Sunday, Trump’s lead lawyer dealing with the special counsel, Rudolph Giuliani, said he had been told by former Trump lawyer, John Dowd, that “McGahn was a strong witness for the president.” Legal experts and former White House counsels said the president’s lawyers had been careless in not asking McGahn what he had planned to tell Mueller’s prosecutors. Giuliani created a stir on Sunday when he said different versions of the truth are being offered to Mueller. Giuliani concluded, “Truth isn’t truth.”