President Obama’s wall of ignorance is unravelling.
We knew already that the White House Counsel was informed of the IRS’s misconduct, but (we’re told) did not tell the president. To explain this, we’ve been told that it is somehow unethical for the White House Counsel to reveal the information to the president. I’ve never heard of a legal principle that would keep the president’s lawyer from disclosing to the president, legal matters relevant to the president. Indeed, that sounds like the opposite of the White House Counsel’s job. But suppose we grant that one.
We know now that other top administration officials were informed, including the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough. This is no different, in practice, than notifying the president himself. The Chief of Staff is the most powerful figure in the US government after the president. He runs the administration, controls access to the president, is present at all key meetings, and (what is most significant here) ensures that the president is kept informed of all matters of importance.
If McDonough didn’t inform Obama, it’s because he judged that Obama wouldn’t want to be informed. Making that judgement is his job, for which he was hand-picked by Obama.