Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Questions over Mueller probe after Trump fires Sessions

Questions over Mueller probe after Trump fires Sessions

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself from overseeing the special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people close to him who added they do not believe he would approve any subpoena of President Trump as part of that investigation.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called on Whitaker to recuse himself over his previous statements and Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler said the House Judiciary Committee would investigate Session's firing once he assumes the chairmanship in January. Last year Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Mueller probe, which has been a constant source of anger from the president. Campaign efforts include ending the Iraq war and combatting gun violence by ending politicians' affiliation with the NRA, but since 2016 the organization says it has been "a pillar of the Resistance to Trump".

In the letter, the group of state attorneys general note that Rosenstein appears to have adequately overseen the Russian Federation probe and "should continue to do so, as Mr. Mueller's work must proceed free from interference or supervision that would appear to many Americans to be biased".

Whitaker is expected to assume oversight of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

In an op-ed Whitaker wrote past year, he argued that "any investigation into President Trump's finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller's appointment as special counsel".

In fact, Whitaker told CNN a year ago that a future attorney general could limit Mueller by reducing the budget "so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".

Matthew Whitaker is replacing his former boss, Jeff Sessions.

Thanking Sessions for his service, Romney said that it was "imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded".

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But a flurry of activity during his quiet period, including weeks of grand jury testimony about Trump confidant Roger Stone and negotiations over an interview with the president, hinted at public developments ahead as investigators move closer to addressing key questions underpinning the special counsel inquiry: Did Trump illegally obstruct the investigation?

In April, Pingree co-sponsored House legislation to protect the Mueller investigation by making it more hard for a president to remove a special counsel. Trump said Wednesday that he did not plan to stop the investigation.

Sessions, who likely suspected his ouster was imminent, was spotted by reporters giving some of his grandchildren a tour of the White House over the weekend.

Mueller, who had reported to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, now reports to the interim attorney general.

Any action by Whitaker could potentially be challenged under the Vacancies Reform Act Trump used to appoint his acting attorney general.

Troubled that the president has crossed a "red line" toward firing special counsel Robert Mueller, more than 900 activists have planned protests on Thursday at 5 p.m. nationwide, including in Santa Barbara.

An ever-more exasperated Trump ordered him to give up the mic and Acosta refused, with Trump branding him an "enemy of the people" and a "rude, bad person".

Sessions clashed, though, with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, resisting his proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system and standing by his hard-line approach to imprisonment and sentencing.

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