Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Attorneys General call for recusal of Sessions' replacement from Russian Federation probe

While he was Jeff Sessions' top aide, Matthew Whitaker reportedly advised Trump on how he could force the DOJ to cave to his demands Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump Justice Dept appointment
Patty Aguilar | 12 November, 2018, 03:54

The president took to Twitter Friday night, saying Whitaker is a highly respected former U.S.attorney adding he was chosen by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be his chief of staff.

Senator Susan Collins on Friday said she wants the Senate to debate placing restrictions on Trump's ability to remove Mueller.

In his new role, Whitaker is now in charge of the Russian Federation investigation and the special counsel Robert Mueller.

Whitaker, a former USA attorney from Iowa, was not hired and he continued to work as a political pundit for CNN.

"Whitaker is a political appointee who is not serving in a Senate confirmed position in the Justice Department", Schumer wrote.

Trump's latest criticisms of law enforcement came as he appeared increasingly vulnerable to long-running investigations after this week's one-two punch of Cohen's plea deal and the conviction of Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

This news set off a full-blown freakout among those who see this as the first step in a Nixonian plot to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

When asked if Trump knew of Whitaker's opposition to the Russian Federation probe before appointing him acting attorney general, Conway told Wallace that she wasn't sure.

Speaking to reporters at the White House before he left on a trip to Paris, Trump defended his choice of Whitaker, saying the former United States attorney for the southern district of Iowa had an excellent reputation and came highly recommended by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is now Trump's ambassador to China. Whitaker also gave a talk radio interview in which he maintained there was no evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Likewise, as Chief, I did not know Mr. Whitaker except primarily as he traveled with A.G. Sessions. Whitaker was Sessions' chief of staff before Trump made him Sessions' interim replacement.

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Ter Stegen made the error, letting Lo Celso's shot slip through his fingers and into the far corner. Ter Stegen denied Cristian Tello with his legs.

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Of course, the introduction of mouse and keyboard support is a big deal, especially for competitive titles such as Fortnite . This also opens up the console to accommodate a variety of other genres, such as real-time strategy, much better, .

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. Another Republican senator, Susan Collins of ME, said she was concerned by some of Whitaker's past comments and called for legislation that would place limits on his ability to fire special counsel Mueller.

If Whitaker were removed, but Trump's authority to appoint an Acting AG were not eliminated, then Trump could find someone likely just as bad among all the people that Trump has managed to get confirmed by the Senate.

McConnell said he expects Trump to nominate a new permanent attorney general "pretty quickly".

The shakeup at the Department of Justice led to calls for Whitaker's recusal of the Mueller investigation, due to past statements from Whitaker about the validity of the investigation.

But these are not ordinary times and Donald Trump is not an ordinary president.

"We don't discuss recusals but there is no reason to think that is the case", a Justice Department spokeswoman said after Sessions left Wednesday.

"I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy", the president had told the hosts of his favorite cable news program.

And I'm imagining that if I were a fly on the wall - but presumably with a better brain than a fly's - it would be a pleasure to hear them make their decisions, and map out their contingencies, similar to the pleasure of watching a chess master deploying his pieces.

McConnell, Ryan and many other leading Republicans on Capitol Hill have gone along with months of political scourging and sandblasting of the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its leaders - so long, it appeared, as the body count didn't pile up and Mueller especially was spared.

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