Ousting his AG, Trump barrels into Nixon territory

Ousting his AG, Trump barrels into Nixon territory

Whitaker, who had been serving as the Chief of Staff to Jeff Sessions, suddenly was thrust into the national spotlight after being named "Acting Attorney General" by President Trump.

Soon after Whitaker was announced as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' temporary replacement, he came under scrutiny for his criticism against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. CNN also reported that Whitaker has visited the White House a dozen or more times since becoming Sessions' chief of staff and that he had a good relationship with the president.

He made the remarks to a conservative forum in April 2014.

The order came one day after a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments on whether Mueller was unlawfully appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 and wielded too much power.

On Friday, Trump moved to distance himself from Whitaker, saying, "I don't know Matt Whitaker".

"Don't tell me about Whitaker", Trump said, "because Mueller was not Senate-confirmed".

A source close to Sessions says that the former attorney general realized that Whitaker was "self-dealing" after reports surfaced in September that Whitaker had spoken with Kelly and had discussed plans to become the No. 2 at the Justice Department if Rosenstein was forced to resign. When asked whether he required a "Levitical or New Testament" view of justice, Whitaker specified the New Testament.

On Tuesday, the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia signed a letter addressed to Whitaker requesting his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation. The president had long complained about Sessions recusing himself from supervising Mueller.

Trump dismissed the criticism saying on Friday: 'This only comes because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them.

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Sessions said in a letter to Trump that he had resigned at the president's request.

The Wall Street Journal has published an email disclosing an FBI investigation into an invention promotion company tied to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

He also called Whitaker "a very highly respected man".

The letter was sent by today Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General, and signed by Democratic attorneys general from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, D.C., Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, Virginia, New Mexico, and Maryland. That candidate, unlike Whitaker, would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

The president "thinks highly" of Whitaker, Larson said.

"While the president may have the authority to replace the attorney general, this must not be the first step in an attempt to impede, obstruct or end the Mueller investigation".

He said he was speaking only for himself and he hoped Republicans might join as plaintiffs if a lawsuit goes forward.

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

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