Top Democrats urge acting attorney general to step aside from Russian Federation probe

Why no blue wave? Maybe because Democrats kept running away from own base

Reuters Andrew Kelly

Speaking in Brunswick, Maine, Collins said she's "very concerned" about the appointment of Matt Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general because of his comments about setting parameters for the probe into whether Trump's presidential campaign coordinated with Russian Federation in 2016.

Trump has replaced Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who was serving as the president's chief of staff.

President Donald Trump said on Friday he doesn't know Matt Whitaker, the man he chose to serve as acting attorney general. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions, and he was always extremely highly thought of, and he still is.

"I don't know Matt Whitaker".

There have been broad calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from the probe. If you're in NY, you can't investigate things in Idaho.

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

All 17 Democrats who sit on the House Judiciary Committee penned a letter to the Republican chairman warning the country was "in the throes of a constitutional crisis".

"I understand the Mueller investigation is wrapping up", Manchin said.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME says she wants the Senate to vote on a proposal to put restrictions on the president's ability to remove special counsel Robert Mueller.

Whitaker's connection to World Patent Marketing came as a surprise to both senior Justice Department and White House officials, several officials said.

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Trump said, "No matter who I put in, they go after him ..."

Rosenstein told reporters Friday that based on his experiences with Whitaker, "I think he's a superb choice for attorney general".

His new role as acting attorney general gives him the power to reject requests by Mr Mueller, the special counsel, as well as end parts of his investigation, fire him and even keep secret his final report.

Eventually, Trump deemed his party's gains in the Senate enough to call the night a "tremendous success". John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, for example, wrote last week that Whitaker can not serve as acting attorney general because he was never confirmed by the Senate.

Schumer also asked Trump for "specific reasons" why he installed Whitaker in the attorney general's office rather than Rosenstein, who is next in the line of succession.

McConnell also echoed Trumps' warnings on investigations, saying: "The Democrats in the House will have to decide just how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy".

Healey said in a tweet that a United States attorney general "must lead an empowered and independent Department of Justice".

Whitaker, a former USA attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, wrote a commentary for CNN in August 2017 with the headline: "Mueller's Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far". "I haven't ruled out anything", he said.

First, in light of questions that have been raised about recusal, Whitaker should not only consult department ethics officials but should release to the public their advice to him insofar as it relates to the Mueller investigation, except to the extent that this advice might touch on privileged matters relating to former clients of Whitaker's.

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