More than a dozen US state attorneys general signed a document Thursday calling for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, a role he assumed following his temporary appointment following the resignation of Jeff Sessions.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sacked by Donald Trump on Wednesday after enduring more than a year of bitter criticism from the president over his decision to step aside from the Russian Federation investigation that has dogged the White House.
"Committees will also be investigating Attorney General Sessions' departure". Sessions had held on to his job as the nation's top law enforcement officer despite frequent bursts of embarrassingly public criticism from Trump. When Sessions's previous chief of staff, Jody Hunt, was departing, Sessions brought Whitaker in for an interview and came to like him, the person said. He previously wrote an opinion piece for CNN entitled "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far" that said Trump's personal finances should be considered off-limits.
Short of legislation meant to protect Mueller, which is unlikely to pass, there is little Congress can do to challenge Whitaker's oversight of Mueller, said Rosenzweig.
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As acting attorney general, Whitaker now has the power to wrest oversight away from Rosenstein, and take charge himself. In fact, Whitaker told CNN past year that a future attorney general could limit Mueller by reducing the budget "so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".
If Whitaker chose to fire Mueller, he would need to inform the special counsel in writing of the specific reason for his termination. Whitaker wrote. "If he doesn't, then Mueller's investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition".
The marches formed a day after Trump fired Sessions, who had recused himself of the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government agents.
Even though Whitaker has always been skeptical of the investigation, he has never called for it to be shut down. And since Sessions technically resigned instead of forcing the White House to fire him, he opened the door under federal law to allowing the president to choose his successor instead of simply elevating Rosenstein, said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and can not be allowed to remain in charge of it. The moment the Democrats clinched the required 23 seats to retake the lower chamber; they were readying the various probes into this presidency-and the left wing harassment of this administration is about to begin.
That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel. It culminated in the White House later banning a CNN reporter who questioned the President aggressively on why he insisted on calling a migrant caravan that is hundreds of miles from the U.S. border an 'invasion'.
"We're here because Trump replaced Sessions and installed someone who will do his bidding, who has voiced his hostility to the Bob Mueller investigation", said Mary Melancon, 75, of Tampa.