"We Are Going to Find Out" If Whitaker Interferes with Mueller

Janice Rogers Brown

Janice Rogers Brown

He also referenced a report that Whitaker acted as Trump's eye and ears inside the Justice Department during the tenure of ousted AG Jeff Sessions, during a period when Trump was fuming over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe.

"We Democrats, House and Senate, will attempt to add to must-pass legislation, in this case the spending bill, legislation that would prevent Mr. Whitaker from interfering with the Mueller investigation" should Whitaker not recuse, Schumer told CNN's Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union".

On Friday, President Trump responded to criticism that he appointed Whitaker in order to rein in the investigation, saying he has not spoken to him about the probe. Another speculation was that Christie was only interested in the attorney general position, which Trump gave to Jeff Sessions as a reward for his loyalty.

"The only two paths to that office are regular succession, and advice (and) consent", said a source close to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Rosenstein is much, much, much more subject to recusal than Whitaker", Dershowitz said. McConnell said that's not needed because the probe will be allowed to finish.

That candidate, unlike Whitaker, would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

"The president decides who serves in the cabinet".

But while those same loyal Democratic voters helped elect more than a dozen House members, typically with 90 percent of the vote, they can not help a Democrat running for a state house seat in Alpena or Escanaba, Lupher said.

Trump told reporters Friday "I don't know Matt Whitaker" and said he didn't speak with Whitaker about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Whitaker felt Mueller would focus on his job, regardless.

When a reporter asked Trump if he wants the acting attorney general to rein in Mueller, the president answered: "What a stupid question".

Sessions then later packs his favourite mug, which says, "It's not about hatred, it's about heritage", with a picture of a Confederate flag on it. Seconds later, Sessions pulls out a smaller mug that says, "JK it is about hatred". "The appointment of Mr. Whitaker is further clouded by unresolved constitutional questions about the legality of such an action". No one is arguing Trump doesn't have the "power" to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director or direct the Justice Department.

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"Therefore, Whitaker can not serve as acting Attorney General ..."

But Whitaker is not the only one facing a test of character; Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray do as well.

On the potential for House investigations, Pelosi said Democrats will have a "responsibility for oversight" when they take charge in January and she will leave final decisions to committees.

Sessions' dismissal came one day after the midterm votes were tallied.

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.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former U.S. Attorney General William Barr also are being considered, said people familiar with the matter.

Trump, who has frequently dismissed that probe as a "witch hunt", feigned ignorance of Whitaker's background.

"I don't know Matt Whitaker", Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving on a trip to France. "I mean, I know Matt Whitaker".

Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself.

"He was very, very highly thought of, and still is highly thought of, but this only comes up because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them", Trump said. "And my Apple Watch says I'm having a heart attack".

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