Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure

Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure
© Getty Images

Attorney Emmet Flood took over Thursday morning as White House counsel, replacing Don McGahn until his full-time successor joins the administration.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Flood will serve as counsel to the president until Pat Cipollone takes over the job. Once Cipollone arrives, Flood will return to his role of special counsel to the president.

Sanders did not provide a timeline for when Cipollone might start.


The announcement came the morning after McGahn departed as White House counsel following nearly two years on the job.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Freedom Caucus calls for Congress to work on shutdown through break Democrat previews Mueller questions for Trump’s AG nominee Trump inaugural committee spent ,000 on makeup for aides: report MORE confirmed Tuesday that he chose Cipollone, a commercial litigator, as the next White House counsel.

Cipollone is likely to be at the forefront of legal battles between the White House and Congress if Democrats retake control of the House in the November midterm elections. Party leaders have said they intend to investigate Trump's taxes as well as other matters.

McGahn's exit was expected, as Trump announced in August that he would leave at the conclusion of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughOn The Money: Shutdown hits Day 24 | Trump touts need for wall in speech to farmers | Poll numbers sag | House Dems push stopgap bills | How the shutdown could harm the economy | TSA absences raise stakes for deal Barr memo suggests: To understand the Trump administration, read Hobbes White House press aide Raj Shah joining lobbying firm MORE's confirmation process.

McGahn was at the forefront of shepherding Trump's two Supreme Court picks — Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch — through the confirmation process.

He made headlines in August for reports that he sat for more than 30 hours with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE to discuss the firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyPress: What dirt does Putin have on Trump? Dems zero in on Trump and Russia Comey calls on GOP to stop 'witness intimidation' MORE and Trump's criticism of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Supreme Court shouldn’t do the president’s dirty work to end DACA Rosenstein, DOJ exploring ways to more easily spy on journalists Trump AG nominee to say Congress, public should know results of Mueller probe MORE.

Less than two weeks after reports of McGahn's cooperation surfaced, Trump announced in a tweet that the White House counsel would leave his post following Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Flood, who joined the White House in May, has served as a member of the president's legal team in the Russia investigation. Prior to arriving in the Trump administration, he helped represent then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFeehery: Current shutdown impasse is a fight over peanuts Rosenstein, DOJ exploring ways to more easily spy on journalists Trump, Pelosi needn’t be friends to find common ground MORE in his impeachment proceedings and served in the White House counsel's office for former President George W. Bush.