Former White House counsel Don McGahn refused to go along with then-President Donald Trump’s push to remove special counsel Robert Mueller out of fear that the situation could “spiral out of control,” he told a House panel.

In a transcript of an interview that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee had been seeking to conduct for two years, McGahn acknowledged Friday that Trump had wanted him to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller had conflicts of interest and should be removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“This seemed to be an inflection point. It was time to hit the brakes and not make a phone call to Rod to raise this issue that the president had continued to raise with me. It seemed to me that it’d be easier for me to not make the call and take whatever heat or fallout there would be than to cause, potentially, a chain reaction that I think would not be in the best interest of the president,” McGahn said.

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