‘Nothing burger’: Trump denounces Dems after ex-White House lawyer details obstruction of justice efforts

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Former President Trump lashed out Thursday at what he called Democratic “witch hunts” after a transcript of ex-White House counsel Don McGahn revealed his efforts to obstruct justice in the Russian campaign collusion probe.

Trump claimed he was “totally exonerated” by McGahn’s testimony, even though the top lawyer detailed the president’s improper efforts to get special counsel Robert Mueller fired and undermine his probe.

“I have also been totally exonerated in Congress by the testimony of former White House lawyer Don McGahn,” Trump wrote in an email message. “It came, it went, and it was a big ‘nothing burger.’”

Trump derisively portrayed McGahn’s testimony as a continuation of the “witch hunts” launched by Democrats against him.

“They fabricated, out of thin air, the fake allegation that I obstructed justice, and I won that too,” Trump asserted. “Think of it, how can you obstruct justice when you were fighting a false and illegally submitted narrative?”

Contrary to Trump’s claims, McGahn delivered a damning account of Trump’s persistent effort to derail the probe of his actions in the Russia investigation.

McGahn, a conservative Republican loyalist, said he ignored Trump’s orders that he press for Mueller’s removal from the Russia investigation, calling it a “point of no return” for his mercurial boss.

The White House lawyer said he did not want to relay Trump’s directive to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because he feared Rosenstein either to fire Mueller or resign himself, according to a transcript released Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee.

“My thought was ... what this is going to look like down the road,” McGahn said.

McGahn’s hours-long appearance before the committee last Friday, two years in the making and the product of a prolonged court fight, covered many of the episodes at the center of Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump had obstructed justice.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a statement after the interview that it was “a great victory for congressional oversight,” although two years had been too long to wait.

After Democrats first subpoenaed McGahn, Trump was impeached twice by the House and acquitted twice by the Senate.

Despite the hue and cry, little is likely to actually happen as a result of McGahn’s testimony.

Attorney General Merrick Garland could launch a criminal probe into Trump’s brazen effort to obstruct justice. But most insiders do not expect him to take such a politically controversial step now that Trump is out of office.

Trump faces much more serious and likely legal peril from the ongoing investigation by New York prosecutors into financial wrongdoing by him and his eponymous real estate company.

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