Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure

Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure
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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 TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny 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 KavanaughTrump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship Sotomayor: Kavanaugh now part of the Supreme Court ‘family’ The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race 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 ComeyMueller could turn easy Trump answers into difficult situation Comey invites House Republicans to hold public hearing after news of possible subpoena GOP chairman plans to subpoena Comey, Lynch to testify before next Congress MORE and Trump's criticism of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFlorida sues CVS, Walgreens over sale of opioids Attorneys want Supreme Court to determine legality of Whitaker as acting AG Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds 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 ClintonElection Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural GOP chairman plans to subpoena Comey, Lynch to testify before next Congress MORE in his impeachment proceedings and served in the White House counsel's office for former President George W. Bush.