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Don McGahn reportedly also threatened to quit his job over this.

White House counsel Don McGahn has been a Trump loyalist since the early days of Trump’s presidential campaign. That didn’t stop him from threatening to quit last summer when President Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.

That’s the central takeaway from an explosive New York Times report on Thursday night detailing how Trump directed McGahn to fire Mueller last June, an order McGahn refused to carry out. Instead, the White House lawyer threatened to resign his own post.

Seven months later, Mueller is escalating his investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election as well as allegations that Trump obstructed justice. Depending on how those investigations play out, McGahn could play an important role in Mueller’s probe.

It’s in some ways surprising to learn that McGahn would stand up to the president so strongly, especially on an issue as politically controversial as the Mueller probe.

McGahn, a prominent Washington attorney who specializes in campaign finance and election law, joined Trump early on during his campaign — providing it with some much needed legitimacy. After his election victory, Trump gave McGahn the job as the White House counsel with the responsibility to vet potential nominees and ensure that federal employees follow ethics laws.

“Rarely does an order or a memo leave the White House without the counsel’s sign-off,” Mother Jones reported in a McGahn profile last summer. McGahn’s highest calling is to keep members of government — including the president — out of legal trouble.

That, in part, may have motivated McGahn’s bold action after Trump’s order. According to the Times, McGahn felt firing Mueller would prove disastrous to Trump’s presidency, and assumed Trump wouldn’t do so on his Read More Here