Trump's new justice chief assailed over anti-Mueller stance

Leroy Wright
November 12, 2018

When asked about the probe in a separate interview on ABC's This Week, Conway said she doubted President Donald Trump would ask Whitaker to shut down the investigation "because it would prolong it", adding she didn't think either a Democratic or Republican Congress would "allow that". So by that token, his appointment should change nothing concerning that vital Mueller investigation: if Whitaker were to be recused, that investigation it would stay under Rosenstein's supervision.

One is simply by declining to continue to pay the investigators or attorneys working for the special counsel.

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

CNN reported that McGahn, who left the White House in October after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, helped Whitaker become Session's chief of staff at the Justice Department.

Whitaker was an outside commentator in the press and on TV before he came back into the government and he warned about Mueller exceeding his authority.

Protestors set up on all sides of the corner of McIntire Road, waving signs in support of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and against Trump and the appointment of Whitaker. That would include specifying that only a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official - which Whitaker is not - could dismiss Mueller.

Shortly after the Democrats recently won back the House of Representatives, Trump ordered Sessions to resign and replaced him with Whitaker, who wrote a CNN op-ed a year ago titled "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far". "I feel certain he will make an outstanding Acting Attorney General!". Later in the day, Trump tweeted that he did not personally know Whitaker, a former federal prosecutor in Iowa, but several Republican leaders in that state respected him.

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Of the scrutiny Whitaker is facing, Trump said, "It's a shame that no matter who I put in they go after". He also told the network that he could envision a scenario where Sessions is replaced with an attorney general who "reduces [Mueller's] budget so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt". It seems very unlikely that Whitaker will stand in the way of Mueller doing so (or that Trump wants him to). Whitaker will be the Acting Attorney General.

Trump's appointing Whitaker as acting attorney general is counter to the usual line of succession in the Justice Department.

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. Lindsey Graham, who co-sponsored a bill to protect Mueller, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he was confident Whitaker would not quash the investigation. Whitaker also has ties to Andrew Miller, who has been called as a witness before a grand jury. "I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action". The president and his attorneys are confident there are "at least three or four ways this appointment does pass muster", she said on Fox.

"I want to make this very clear, if he doesn't recuse himself, if he has any involvement whatsoever in this Russian Federation probe we are going to find out whether he made commitments to the president about the probe", Schiff said.

Fourth, and most important, Whitaker has to accept the responsibility to defend the Department of Justice and its interests, rather than undermine them.

Trump told reporters he has not discussed the post with Christie, who he said was "a friend of mine" and "a good man". One associate, Jerome Corsi, said in a video recording Monday that he's "been involved in a really constant basis" for two months with Mueller's investigation.

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