President-Elect Donald Trump announced recently that he had tapped D.C. attorney Donald F McGahn II to be his White House Counsel. This is an appointed position and does not require Senate confirmation.

Trump praised his pick, saying “Don has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law. He will play a critical role in our administration.”

The White House Transition Project describes the duties of the White House Counsel as follows.

Given that the United States of America is governed under the rule of law, and that the President is its elected Chief Magistrate, the role of the White House Counsel’s Office is to maintain the presidency in lawful tension with all other elements, in and out of government. As the burdens of the nation’s highest office grow, so do the responsibilities of what is often called “the president’s lawyer” but is more accurately described as the “presidency’s lawyer.” The myriad tasks of this complex office include: monitor ethics matters; coordinate the president’s message and agenda within the executive branch units; negotiate on the president’s behalf with Congress and other vectors; recommend actions to the president; and translate or interpret the law in its broadest context throughout the Executive branch.

With the media and the left accusing President-Elect Trump of breaking every ethical law imaginable before he even enters office and criticizing his business dealings and his relationship to his children, a strong White House Counsel will be necessary for his administration. He has certainly make a solid pick with Don McGahn. He has a history of defending his clients well, and he knows election law like the back of his hand.

Here are thirteen things to know about Don McGahn.

  1. He was formerly a member of the Federal Election Commission, serving as commissioner and chairman. He was on the commission from 2008 to 2013. He was appointed by Bush 43.

  2. He holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and got his law degree from Widener University in 1994. He has admission to the bar in the District of Columbia.

  3. McGahn served as the lawyer for Trump’s presidential campaign.

  4. During Trump’s campaign, he helped develop the list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees.

  5. His colleagues and associates describe him as “fiercely competitive” and say he has an “impressive command of arcane election law”

  6. McGahn supported allowing big money from corporations in politics before the Supreme Court finally ruled, once and for all, that it was legal.

  7. He plays lead guitar in a rock band, Scott’s New Band, and according to their website, owns over 30 guitars.

  8. McGahn has a history in presidential politics. When Texas Governor George W Bush ran for president back in 1999, Don McGahn was the man who filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

  9. He was featured in Wall Street Journal and New York Times articles as one of the “architects of the campaign finance revolutions”

  10. McGahn served as general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee for almost a decade and successfully defended members of Congress before the FEC.

  11. He has been a partner at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. since 2014. Jones Day has a famously beautiful building on the corner of  Constitution and New Jersey.  

  12. He and his wife Shannon have two sons.

  13. He was born in June of 1968 and will be 48 years old when Trump takes office in January of 2017.

    Aryssa D
    FFL Cabinet Member