Meet Trump's pick for White House counsel, Donald McGahn

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President Barack Obama’s former White House counsel Robert Bauer has a short description of the man who will take on that role when Donald Trump becomes president.

Trump’s choice for White House counsel, Donald McGahn, “is very smart, he’s very combative, and he’s very dogged,” Bauer told the New York Times.

McGann is a Jones Day partner who fought limits on campaign spending when he served as a commissioner and chairman for the Federal Election Commission. He became a lawyer for Trump’s presidential campaign in early 2015, and sources say he helped developed Trump’s shortlist of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

The Times describes McGahn as “a fiercely competitive and even intimidating man eager to scrap with opponents” in his support for the idea that political donations are a form of free speech.

According to the Times, McGahn is “an iconoclast bent on shaking things up” who plays guitar in a rock band and “has a personality to match Mr. Trump’s.” The newspaper also expects McGahn to be “a fierce proponent of the president’s executive authority to operate independently on a wide range of issues.”

Detractors fear McGahn will use his personal qualities to find clever ways around the rules. But Capital University election law professor, Bradley Smith, thinks McGahn can stand up to Trump.

“I don’t see any way that Don McGahn is going to be a yes man,” Smith told the Times. “I’m not sure there are too many good Republican campaign finance lawyers who could have handled Mr. Trump, and Don was able to do that.”

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