Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump's appointment of Whitaker

Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump's appointment of Whitaker

Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump's appointment of Whitaker

President Donald Trump tweeted out late Friday night that he doesn't know his own acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and hasn't had "social contact".

Trump installed Whitaker on Wednesday as the nation's interim top law enforcement officer after ousting Sessions, who'd recused himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Given his role in the Trump campaign, Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the special counsel's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation in the 2016 election, leaving oversight of the Mueller investigation to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "But I didn't know Matt Whitaker".

"You have to look at both of these people, Whitaker and Rosenstein, and ask yourself whether Rosenstein should be involved in this investigation at all", Dershowitz said. Not only has Whitaker been a harsh critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but he also has a shady business past. As Sessions' chief of staff, Whitaker reportedly accompanied his boss to the Oval Office on multiple occasions.

Many prominent Democrats are also calling on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. "He's said repeatedly it's going to be allowed to finish". The president also said, "I don't know Matt Whitaker", even though he has met with him more than a dozen times. But the attorney-general is what the Supreme Court has referred to as a "principal officer" - a person who ordinarily must have Senate approval.

Rosenstein had been heading the Russia Probe ever since Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

To the extent the investigation becomes a broad-ranging inquiry into Trump's financial dealings, Whitaker might well rein it in.

Look for Whitaker to reduce Mueller's operating budget, pull lawyers and investigators now working on Mueller's team back to DOJ, refuse to authorize grand jury subpoenas or indictments, and/or push Mueller to wrap up the probe as soon as possible.

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"I really do want to win that seat back", McConnell said, adding that he'll leave it to Alabama Republican officials to find the best candidate for the party. "He worked for attorney general Sessions", Mr Trump said.

"Don't tell me about Whitaker", Trump said, "because Mueller was not Senate-confirmed". That would include specifying that only a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official, which Whitaker is not, could dismiss the special counsel.

Trump said on Friday he had not discussed the Mueller investigation with Whitaker before appointing him.

If you're thinking "Matt who?" or "wait, yet another revolving door in the Trump cabinet?" you're not alone.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department has said Whitaker would oversee all matters under its jurisdiction, including the Mueller investigation.

He also called Whitaker "a very highly respected man".

He also told the network that he could envision a scenario where Sessions is replaced with an attorney general who "reduces [Mueller's] budget so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

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