Appeals Court Wants To Know What DOJ Shake-Up Means For Mueller's Authority

10 November, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Jeff Sessions forced out after months of Trump abuse over Mueller probe

Thousands of protesters packed Times Square on Thursday evening to demonstrate against President Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions - a move they view as a threat to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

More than 100 people gather at Monument Square on Thursday evening to protest the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the impact it could have on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

On Wednesday, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, raising the possibility that Sessions' replacement - Matthew Whitaker - could seek to curtail Mueller's investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller's boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation.

The next month, Whitaker wrote an op-ed posted on CNN's website in which he argued that Mueller's investigation appeared to be going too far and may constitute a "witch hunt", echoing one of Trump's favorite descriptions to criticize and discredit the probe.

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

In an interview with a conservative talk radio host, Whitaker said there was "no collusion" between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation, a key question being examined by the special counsel's office.

McGahn was drawn to Whitaker because he had a stalwart reputation in right-wing legal circles and because the White House wanted someone who was competent, could mind Sessions and could "keep things on the rails" at the Justice Department. "We think it's important that people come out and make their viewpoints known".

Wind-Driven Camp Fire Barrels Through Northern California's Butte County
She said a group of 20 other patients were initially evacuated but then returned to the facility because of gridlocked traffic. The Camp Fire , which started early on Thursday near Camp Creek, has been fuelled by strong winds and dry forest.

Matt Whitaker has been named acting us attorney general following the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A copy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation letter is photographed in Washington on an image of the exterior of the Justice Department.

Trump also claimed that the Republican-run Senate didn't confirm Mueller because of conflicts of interest. In fact, Whitaker told CNN past year that a future attorney general could limit Mueller by reducing the budget "so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt". He also added that the fact Comey did not prosecute Trump's chief political opponent was sufficient grounds for Trump to fire him.

The Saturday Night Massacre refers to an incident in 1973 when President Nixon ordered his attorney general and deputy attorney general to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate scandal. Conway is the husband of the top White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

Four federal judges have upheld Mueller's authority, including U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who rejected Miller's arguments and held him in contempt for resisting a Mueller subpoena.

"Firing Sessions was Trump's way of appointing a loyalist to control the investigation", said Jacob Beard, a 33-year-old software technician from Manhattan. She said the group's activism is wider than serving as a foil for the GOP and Trump.

In July 2017, before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker said during an interview on CNN that he could envision a scenario in which an acting attorney general doesn't fire Mueller but "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grind to nearly a halt".

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