Sessions realized too late that Whitaker was auditioning for his job

Leroy Wright
November 12, 2018

The New York Times said that Whitaker, who has temporarily replaced Jeff Sessions as the top us law official after his forced resignation this week, had been on the radar of the Trump administration for some time.

The Wall Street Journal has published an email disclosing an FBI investigation into an invention promotion company tied to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Since Wednesday, Whitaker has faced pressure from Democrats to step aside from overseeing Mueller, based on critical comments Whitaker made about the investigation before joining the Justice Department past year.

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.

Trump had enjoyed Whitaker's cable TV appearances - including one on CNN in which he suggested that the Mueller probe be starved of resources - and the two men soon struck a bond.

In response to President Donald Trump's recent dismissal of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and what some saw as a threat to the existence of the Special Counsel investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election, protesters gathered outside the Albemarle County Office Building Thursday evening.

Democrats have criticized Whitaker for comments he has made in the past that were critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and have called for legislation to protect Mueller.

US Appeals Court Rules Against Trump on DACA
Trump has suggested his policies do not get a fair shake in the 9th Circuit and has touted the idea of breaking up that court. Trump's attempt to rescind the program was also initially blocked by judges from lower courts in Washington D.C. and NY .

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.

With the Mueller probe now squarely back in the spotlight, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and the president should stay the course and not accept two sets of rules - one for them and another for Democratic administrations. McConnell said that's not needed because the probe will be allowed to finish. Secondly, fair-minded Americans are also questioning the unwieldy scope of the year-and-a-half-long Mueller probe, given that it has strayed far from its original mandate of investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election by delving into Paul Manafort's business dealings from long ago and other matters that have nothing to do with President Trump or protecting the integrity of future elections. That would include specifying that only a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official, which Whitaker is not, could dismiss the special counsel.

In general, though, I think it is appropriate for the Acting Attorney General to have a say on such issues, particularly when they raise important constitutional issues, the resolution conceivably could produce a constitutional crisis.

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

Mueller is pursuing an investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation, whether Trump unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe, and possible financial misconduct by Trump's family and associates.

Whitaker himself stayed out of the public debate Friday.

Legal scholars are debating the constitutionality of his appointment, with some lawyers saying it is illegal because he has not been confirmed by the Senate. Whitaker will be the Acting Attorney General. "A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date".

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