It wouldn't be easy for Whitaker to shut down the Trump investigations

Glen Norman
Ноября 10, 2018

President Donald Trump's appointment of a new acting attorney general faced growing scrutiny on Friday, with the U.S. Senate's top Democrat accusing him of ignoring the proper line of succession and some legal experts calling it unconstitutional.

In a tweet Wednesday, shortly after Sessions' dismissal was announced, Toomey praised Sessions - who previously was one of his GOP Senate colleagues - and said he wants to see Trump nominate "a new Attorney General who is equally committed to the rule of law". Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation".

There have been broad calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from the probe.

Jeff Sessions imminent departure as attorney general was expected, as he had been repeatedly criticized by Trump for recusing himself from the investigation of potential collusion between the president's campaign and Russian Federation. "No matter who I put in, they go after him", he said.

But if Mueller is still gathering evidence on other matters such as Trump's business relations with Russians going back before the 2016 election, Whitaker may be able to stifle that, ruling it out of the realm of the original mandate.

"I think it is a no-brainer", he said.

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He also said he had not spoken with Whitaker about Mueller's probe. Whitaker was Sessions' chief of staff before Trump made him Sessions' interim replacement.

Whitaker has his supporters too, including a US senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst.

Asked about Whitaker on Friday, Trump told journalists: "I don't know Matt Whitaker". It's the closest to an unvarnished opinion on the Mueller Investigation from Whitaker that we're likely to get.

Ogden protester Tim VandenBerg said he wanted it known that not just progressives and Democrats are frightened by the attorney general's ouster. Whitaker has been publicly critical of the investigation in the past. And even if ethics advisers at the Justice Department suggested he step aside, Whitaker is not obligated to follow that advice, sources explained.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's top deputy, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O'Callaghan, met with lawyers from the special counsel's team, according to a source familiar with the matter - just as he has been doing on almost a biweekly basis for months, as CNN previously reported.

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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