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Real Principled Men of Principle


Don McGahn was willing to put up with a lot of lawlessness as long as he could get help judges who will decide every politically salient case consistently with the most recent platform of the Texas Republican Party confirmed, but you can only push a man so far:

The narrative is sometimes cinematic. It opens with Schmidt chasing down McGahn outside the White House’s front gates and eventually getting him to concede, “I damaged the office of the president; I damaged the office.” It’s a breathtakingly revealing admission from the White House’s chief lawyer and the architect of Trump’s effort to appoint as many conservative judges as possible. (Schmidt says, “I thought he was still understating the gravity of what he had done.”)

McGahn, a staunch libertarian, was frequently in over his head with the lawless president he nicknamed “King Kong,” and he struggled with his highly unusual extended contact with Mueller’s team. Still, despite getting close to resigning, McGahn stuck around far longer than his apparent misery and frequent attempts at principled stands would suggest, largely because of his judicial project’s success. It was only after Trump granted a woman clemency at Kim Kardashian’s request that McGahn knew he truly had to leave the White House. He could no longer abide the accumulation of Trump’s actions.

I don’t know if the “staunch libertarian” description is intentionally or unintentionally funny, but either way it works!

Resigning over one of the few defensible things Donald Trump has done in his whole horrible life makes McGahn pretty much the quintessential Elite-Republican-Trump-lickspittle-who-wants-to-pretend-that-he-isn’t-a-Trump-lickspittle.


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