The inevitable departure of White House counsel Don McGahn and President Trump’s choice of a successor has stirred controversy among conservatives.
Per The Hill:
Two names that have floated as possible successors to McGahn are members of Trump’s legal defense team and are seen as more geared toward battling with special counsel Robert Mueller or a Democratic-controlled House than shaping the federal judiciary to be more conservative.
A former Senate GOP aide said there had been some conservative pushback to Emmet Flood, a member of Trump’s legal team who advised former President Clinton during the 1998–1999 impeachment process. Flood is seen as a defense and impeachment specialist, but his commitment to conservative legal principles and finding and recommending textualist and constitutionalist judges is less known.
Another name floated is Pat Cipollone, a former Justice Department lawyerand veteran litigator who has advised Trump’s legal team on Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. Cipollone’s commitment to recommending judges who pass muster with the Federalist Society and other conservative groups is unclear.
The fact that two lawyers involved in Trump’s legal defense are on the shortlist to replace McGahn is a sign that the president is looking for a counsel well-equipped to fight off any possible indictment from Mueller or subpoenas from the House, should Democrats take back the lower chamber in the midterm elections.
McGahn’s biggest contribution to the Trump administration has come in the form of helping the president select prudent conservative judicial nominees.