The establishment strikes back

This makes McGahn more vulnerable than many in Trumpland to what that establishment thinks. When Steve Bannon left the White House, he went back to excoriating the Republican establishment at Breitbart. When Jared Kushner leaves, he’ll likely go back to New York real estate. When John Kelly leaves, he’ll presumably have as little do with civilians as possible. But McGahn will probably return to that most Beltway of legal specialties, campaign finance law, in the Washington office of a major firm. Which means his reputation in Washington—albeit conservative Washington—matters. Even McGahn’s decision to work for Trump, reported the Above the Law blog in 2016, sparked a near-rebellion amongst his colleagues at Jones Day. In the Post profile, a Republican operative wondered why McGahn would give “credibility to Trump in such a way that could damage his reputation for the long term?”

Imagine trying to return to Jones Day—or some equivalent firm—after firing Robert Mueller. In the words of Norm Eisen, President Obama’s former ethics czar, who has tussled with McGahn for many years, “He didn’t want that personal baggage. What’s he going to do for a living, go live in a frat house with Steve Bannon and Dr. Price and Sean Spicer and people that can’t get a job?”