Trump on new acting AG: I dont know Matt Whitaker

13 November, 2018, 14:40 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Fears for Russia probe as Trump fires Jeff Sessions

Whitaker's selection has roiled Democrats, who believe he could undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible links between the Trump election campaign and Moscow.

The former attorney general under President George W. Bush is voicing doubt about whether President Trump has the authority to appoint Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, saying there are "legitimate questions" about whether the selection can stand without Senate confirmation.

Demonstrations are taking place in more than 1,000 USA cities and towns on Thursday evening-beginning at 5:00 PM (local time)-in response to President Donald Trump "installing a hack" to oversee the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But President Trump emphasised again that he did not know Mr Whitaker. In response to criticisms made by legal experts - including Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano - that Trump's appointment of Whitaker is illegitimate because he was not working at a Senate-confirmed position within the Department of Justice, Trump pivoted to attacking Mueller for not being confirmed by the Senate.

Speaking in Kentucky on Friday, McConnell said he expects acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to be "a very interim" attorney general.

Should Mueller's investigation now be suffocated in order to protect the president, the former FBI director must be prepared to hand all his files to uncompromised prosecutors, or to House and Senate investigators and the press.

However, Rosenstein lost his role as Mueller's supervisor on Wednesday after Trump forced Sessions to resign and replaced him with Matt Whitaker.

Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself as he has previously made negative comments about the probe.

Whitaker's appointment came Wednesday, shortly after Trump forced out Sessions after months of complaining about the attorney general's decision, just weeks into taking office, to recuse himself from oversight of the Russian Federation probe.

Then there's his association with a Florida company that Federal Trade Commission said bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars by promising lucrative patent agreements to investors, the New York Times reported. A Justice Department spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the number of times Whitaker has met with and briefed Trump. Such an overt act by a new attorney general not confirmed by the Senate would unleash an outbreak of fervent protest in official Washington and heighten demands for the president's impeachment. An already-politicized probe just got that much more political.

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Worth noting: According to theAppointments Clause of the US Constitution, (See Article 2, section 2, clause 2) the Senate would have to hold hearings and vote to confirm Matthew Whitaker.

Trump said Friday he had not spoken with Whitaker about Mueller's investigation, which until now has been overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"Matt Whitaker is a great guy".

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President, declined to name contenders for the attorney general job, but said several people are in contention for the post.

Rosenstein told reporters Friday that based on his experiences with Whitaker, "I think he's a superb choice for attorney general".

We've begun what'll likely be two years of brutal trench warfare in which Trump and Democrats - especially the incoming Democratic majority in the House -need each other to be a foil for their respective supporters; the president, in his case, is counting on the high negative perceptions among Republicans of likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions".

A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment on Sessions' departure and what it means for Mueller's probe.

Mueller has been investigating potential Russian involvement and collusion by the Trump campaign in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is said to be a candidate, along with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, among others.

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