Trump Denies Knowing Attorney General He Met Over a Dozen Times
Nov 09 2018 by Lorena Waters
Trumpsaid "I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker" about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion and obstruction by the Trump campaign, before he named him to the elevated role earlier this week.
The protests come a day after Trump effectively fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a move many see as clearing the way for Trump to go after Mueller.
MacCallum told him, "July of 2017", causing the senator to laugh, which prompted MacCallum to comment that "things have changed", which made Graham laugh again. For this reason, as one of us co-wrote for Lawfare on Wednesday, "i$3 f Whitaker either does not obtain an ethics opinion from career officials or if he departs from that guidance, that would be a serious red flag". Later, he was viewed as a likely pick for Trump's attorney general, but Sessions was given the job instead, leading to a cascade of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" memes.
Whitaker, before working for Sessions and after serving as a USA attorney, led a conservative watchdog group and was known to take a dim view toward the Mueller probe.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who has already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, said it is "paramount" that Trump's new attorney general protect the Mueller investigation.
Overcoming this prohibition would normally require a written determination from the employee's supervisor that the conflict of interest will not make the official's work "less than fully impartial and professional" or "create an appearance of a conflict of interest" that might undermine public confidence.
"We are in the lowest of the low times", Samuelian said.
The switch, announced abruptly in a Trump tweet, provoked consternation across Washington, where politicians from both sides of the aisle have long warned that political interference in Mueller's work can not be tolerated.
As a result of Tuesday's midterm elections, the Republicans lost that control because although they kept the Senate, the Democratic Party seized the House of Representatives.
"There is a lot to fight against with this administration; both the president himself, but also the people he has appointed", she said.
A Vancouver demonstration in support of special counsel Robert Mueller drew about 50 USA citizens and supporters on Thursday evening.
"Mueller was not Senate confirmed", the president said. "It would create a constitutional crisis if this were a prelude to ending or greatly limiting the Mueller investigation".
The AP reported that the resignation "was the culmination of a toxic relationship" between Sessions and Trump based on a few factors, but largely Session's having recused himself from dealing with Mueller's probe.
The US President fired Sessions after he had been critical of him for failing to stop the Russian Federation investigation. Whitaker reportedly does not plan to recuse himself.
The president said that he "did not know" Mr Whitaker and that he had not talked to him about the Mueller probe before his appointment. They include his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Trump's running commentary criticizing Sessions and the Justice Department injected more turmoil into an agency that was still reeling from the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
Those actions could involve seeking new indictments from a grand jury or a subpoena forcing Trump to sit for an interview. Another person said that remained true ever after Whitaker took his place.