Trump requested Sessions resign his position as Attorney General today. Sessions of course complied. Trump then named Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general.
According to CBS News, Whitaker formerly served as the “U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.”
CBS went further: “Whitaker will also replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
In 2017 Whitaker penned an article on CNN titled, “Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far.”
Whitaker was extremely critical of Mueller’s investigation.
He wrote in part:
“Last month, when President Donald Trump was asked by The New York Times if special counsel Robert Mueller would be crossing a line if he started investigating the finances of Trump and his family, the President said, “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”
The President is absolutely correct. Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.
According to a CNN article, Mueller’s investigators could be looking into financial records relating to the Trump Organization that are unrelated to the 2016 election. According to these reports, “sources described an investigation that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 election.” The piece goes on to cite law enforcement sources who say non-Russia-related leads that “involve Trump associates” are being referred to the special counsel “to encourage subjects of the investigation to cooperate.”
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This information is deeply concerning to me. It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.
In fact, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter appointing special counsel Robert Mueller does not give Mueller broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation. He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government. People are wrongly pointing to, and taking out of context, the phrase “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” to characterize special counsel’s authority as broad.
The word “investigation” is clearly defined directly preceding it in the same sentence specifically as coordination between individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump and Russia. The Trump Organization’s business dealings are plainly not within the scope of the investigation, nor should they be.”
Now read this part of Whitaker’s article:
“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… Rosenstein should act to ensure the investigation is within its jurisdiction and within the authority of the original directive.
It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel.”
So, now, Whitaker is taking over Rosenstein’s position overseeing Mueller’s investigation!
Whitaker will surely follow his own advice to Rosenstein & place limits on what Mueller can look into.
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other libs are totally freaking out.
Of course they don’t want Mueller’s investigation to be limited to its original scope. That could hinder what Democrats have been clamoring about all along, impeaching Trump!
Here are some of the reactions from Libs on Twitter:
Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation. Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation. #FollowTheFacts
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 7, 2018
Trump fired Sessions for 1 reason: his recusal from Mueller Investigation. He’s obviously trying to undermine the investigation. This is one more chance for the Republican Senate to prove they are capable of doing the job of being a check and balance. Don’t hold your breath…
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 7, 2018
Make no mistake: @realdonaldtrump is laying the groundwork to fire Robert Mueller. Congress must act NOW to protect the investigation. Sign our petition right now: https://t.co/t291WECiuu
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2018
President Trump just removed Jeff Sessions. He wants an Attorney General to serve his interest, not the public.
Mueller's investigation and the independence of the DOJ must be protected. Whitaker and any nominee must commit to doing both.
We will protect the rule of law.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 7, 2018
Matthew Whitaker, the acting Attorney General, clearly wants to limit the Mueller investigation. He must recuse himself and legislation should be brought to the Senate floor to ensure Mueller’s investigation is protected.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 7, 2018
Here we go. Trump reeks of desperation. He knows exactly what he’s facing. He’s gonna try to get rid of Mueller before he has to face it. Can’t let that happen. Buckle up. Big fight ahead.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 7, 2018
In Whitaker’s article he stated: “Indeed, Sunday on Fox News, Rod Rosenstein acknowledged Mueller had limited authority and would need to seek his permission to expand the investigation.”
So, even Rosenstein said Mueller has limited authority, and now Whitaker may ensure that Mueller doesn’t go beyond that authority. Dems don’t want that, obviously! Just like when they held up Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the hopes that more false accusations would be made & he would withdraw, they want to do the same with Mueller’s investigation so they can impeach Trump on any grounds.
Let’s hope Whitaker doesn’t recuse himself & he keeps Mueller on the leash he needs to be on.
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