Don McGahn leaves as White House counsel, Emmet Flood steps into role

Don McGahn has officially left his job as White House counsel and will be replaced in the interim by seasoned lawyer Emmet Flood, until President Trump's chosen successor comes on board.

A senior administration official confirmed to Fox News that McGahn, whose resignation was first reported Wednesday, is now out.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Flood was appointed to the job, effective Thursday morning, and "will serve in the role" until Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone assumes the post. Flood will then return to his role as "Special Counsel to the President" assisting on the Robert Mueller probe.

"President Trump has a great deal of respect for both individuals and is glad to have them on his team," Sanders said.

McGahn, 50, has been an instrumental member of the administration. Yet McGahn’s role in the White House was complicated by his being a chief witness in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice.

McGahn reportedly told officials he was responsible for curbing the president’s more excessive measures, including his desire to fire Mueller from the investigation and reinstate Attorney General Jeff Sessions to oversee the probe, The New York Times reported.

News of McGahn’s departure was first reported by Fox News earlier this summer after he expressed his desire to leave the White House. Trump tweeted in August that McGahn would be stepping down after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

The two men reportedly had a final farewell chat on Wednesday.

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Flood has been serving as in-house counsel regarding the Mueller probe – due to that role, advisers to Trump had been urging the president to keep Flood where he is.

The advisers said “he is eminently qualified to be White House counsel,” but believe he is so important to the president on the Mueller investigation that to move Flood and bring in a new attorney at this point in the investigation would cause unnecessary complications.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.