Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

‘I don’t know Matt Whitaker,’ Trump says of new acting attorney general

Watch Stephen Colbert Election Night Special Online Fears for Russia probe as Trump fires Jeff Sessions
| 10 November, 2018, 06:13

While the Senate voted to confirm Whitaker to the position of US Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 2004, as Trump noted in his press conference, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner pointed out on Twitter that since Whitaker is no longer serving in that role, a confirmation for a prior position does not make his current appointment constitutionally valid. The Senate's top Republican predicted a permanent replacement could be named soon for Whitaker, who is now overseeing the Trump-Russia probe.

"I don't know Matt Whitaker", Trump said.

"Trump is simply flat out wrong that Mueller's appointment is unconstitutional given he reports to someone above him and below Trump", Stern said. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions, and he was always extremely highly thought of, and he still is.

Given how President Donald Trump has picked someone on record as slamming Robert Mueller's investigation and talking about cutting off its funds to be the acting Attorney General (following the firing of Jeff Sessions), a lot of people are now obviously anxious about Mueller potentially being in danger.

Mueller is probing both Russia's interference and whether Trump's presidential campaign may have colluded with Moscow.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he expects President Donald Trump to nominate a new attorney general "pretty quickly" after Trump fired Jeff Sessions earlier this week.

A Justice Department spokeswoman has said Whitaker would oversee all matters under the department's jurisdiction, including the Mueller investigation.

"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it", Trump said of the Russian Federation probe, adding he did not rule out sitting down for an interview with Mueller.


Trump said on Friday, as he was departing Washington for a trip to Paris, that he had not discussed the Mueller probe with Whitaker before appointing him, and it was up to Whitaker whether he wanted to be involved with the investigation.

McConnell, meanwhile, said, "I think this will be a very interim AG".

Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself. But I didn't know Matt Whitaker.

"The president has said repeatedly he's not going to dismiss the Mueller investigation", McConnell told reporters at Kentucky's Capitol.

"No matter who I put in, they go after him", Trump said."He's a highly respected man, especially by law enforcement, and I think he's going to do a great job". McConnell said that's not needed because the probe will be allowed to finish. "That also happens to be my view". "I haven't ruled out anything", he said.

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.

"You ignored the statutory line of succession", Schumer said in a November 9 letter to Trump.

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