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The White House counselor prepares for battle: NPR



White House Attorney Emmet Flood arrives at Capitol Hill in May. He is considered the leading candidate to replace the White House lawyer Don McGahn, who will resign this fall.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images


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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

White House lawyer Emmet Flood arrives at Capitol Hill in May. He is considered the leading candidate to replace the White House lawyer, Don McGahn, who will resign this fall.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Emmet Flood, the White House lawyer whose job it is to investigate Russia, is preparing for a local battle where he is uniquely qualified.

"He is a legal expert in all these matters about subpoenas, presidential privilege, Article II of the Constitution," said Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump's field prosecutors.

When Flood joined the Trump The White House in May, he was a big win for a president who wanted to build an A-House List endeavored. Now he is being discussed as a potential replacement for the White House's outgoing lawyer, Don McGahn.

The arrival of Flood in the White House marked a turning point in the collaboration with Robert Mueller's Special Counseling Investigation. About three dozen White House staff members had volunteered for interviews and thousands of documents were handed over. But that changed. Trump's legal team was in no hurry when the president sat down with Mueller's investigators. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…39&Itemid=32 And within the White House, Flood set foot on another interview with the special lawyer he and chief of staff John Kelly

"He rejected me in my opinion," said John Dowd, a former member of Trump's attorney team, which is still associated with the president's lawyers.

"There was a request for an interview with John Kelly, and he did that because the chief of staff works for the president, and he told Mueller he could not interview his chief of staff," Dowd said.

Saying "no" to the investigators who target the White House is a Flood specialty, something he has done for two former presidents.

"He is so experienced and knows about impeachment and separation of powers, the privileges of the executive as a lawyer in the country," said Glen Donath, who worked closely with Flood as part of Clintons during the rigidity investigation and impeachment process [19659008] "Through his experience and temperament, he is aggressive and protects the president's prerogatives," said Donath, who is now partner with Clifford Chance.

Flood also brought this approach to his work for the George W. Bush administration. Congressional Democrats investigated the dismissal of US attorneys by the government and Flood, then in the White House office, did not want to make it easy for them.

Elliot Mincberg was chief adviser to the House Judiciary Committee at the time, trying to obtain the documents and testimony that Flood declined to hand over.

"He was a very strong defender of the argument that this information should not be provided, even though he was under subpoena from the Home Justice Committee," said Mincberg, who is now a senior fellow on People For the American Way. "We had to bring this dispute to court."

And the fight continued even after Bush left office.

What does this mean for Müller's investigation? At the moment, the negotiations about a possible interview between the president and the investigators seem to be at a dead end.

Giuliani tells NPR that it's been three weeks since Trump's lawyers made their last offer to Mueller's team for an interview with the president.

So, while Flood continues to raise the occasional request of the Special Counsel team, Giuliani said Flood is also preparing for a fight. “/>

19659008] "His entire work, which is aimed at a summons, is to oversee the research that will be necessary if they subpoena [Trump] if we can not reach an agreement," Giuliani said.

If past is prologue, this fight could be epic.

"If the President and his personal lawyers decide that they do not want to interview, it will not happen to Mr. Flod's watch without a court order, because he will diligently protect the p. The resident's privilege, or ultimately, that prerogative Courts are judged to be right or wrong, "said Mincberg.

When Trump announced the White House lawyer, McGahn would leave one name more than anyone else in the fall

"People like him, he is respected very well throughout the building, but there is no plan that is committed to this date, "said press secretary Sarah Sanders, who denied the Flood for White House advice rumors

One important thing, the Flood for meaning him: In his short time at the White House, Flood has earned the respect of the President.

"I know of the President and other people I'm talking to that he's very happy with Emmet Flood," Dowd said. "They have a good relationship."

It's not clear if Trump offered the job or if Flood would even accept him given the risks. But those who know him say he's good at it.

"He would be my first choice to have the President's ear in these times," said Shannen Coffin, who served with Flood in the Bush administration, is now partnering with Steptoe and Johnson. "You know, he's very sensible and calm in times of crisis, and I think you know there are a lot of crises here."

But this excessive amount of crises in and around the White House of Trump could ultimately be what prevents Flood from the larger role.

"I think Emmett Flood could do anything, he's a great lawyer, it's a shame, but one of the things that could hold him back is that he's so important in what he's doing to make someone else do it "Giuliani said. "That's up to the president and him."


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