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Don't touch Russian Federation investigation, Mitt Romney tells Trump

Don't touch Russian Federation investigation, Mitt Romney tells Trump

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he had ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who will be replaced by his current Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker.

The biggest question in Washington is: Will he?

Asked whether Whitaker would take control of the Russian Federation probe, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, "The acting attorney general is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice". He had frequently publicly castigated Sessions for recusing himself past year from the case. It has been a privilege to work under his leadership.

She said the investigation into alleged Russian Federation collusion has been winding down for weeks prior to Sessions stepping down.

Whitaker has not been a fan.

Earlier, at a White House news conference, Trump said the Mueller investigation was not good for the United States.

"Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. "This was clearly about the Mueller probe". The president's lawyers have argued he has vast privilege under the Constitution to hire or dismiss almost anyone within the executive branch. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than comply with Nixon's order. Or by re-assigning them back to their previous jobs in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department or the intelligence community. They could also call Mueller to testify and force him to divulge details from the investigation. Rosenstein had the role of supervising the probe because of Sessions' recusal.

"Sessions was the worst attorney general in modern American history".

The new acting attorney general or whoever serves as his fulltime replacement could simply brief Trump and his aides on where the special counsel is focused if the president doesn't know already.

The "Saturday Night Massacre" was one of the most dramatic events in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.




"It's very significant because Whitaker's position on indictments or future indictments may be different than Rosenstein's, and Rosenstein had given Mueller a broad mandate to pursue various crimes", said Washington criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey Jacobovitz.

Critics, however, are calling on Whitaker not to take the reins.

A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment on Sessions' departure.

"Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russian Federation investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller's investigation", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Twitter.

King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed to the passage of a bill supporting Mueller's investigation as the most important action in the wake of the Sessions dismissal, but didn't offer any more specifics about what should be done. He did not mention that White House chief of staff John Kelly had called Sessions beforehand to ask for his resignation.

Matthew played tight end on the 1991 Rose Bowl Team for the Iowa Hawkeyes, according to WHO-TV.

Trump's relentless attacks on Sessions came even though the Alabama Republican was the first USA senator to endorse Trump and despite the fact his crime-fighting agenda and priorities, particularly his hawkish immigration enforcement policies, largely mirrored the president's. Whitaker garnered more than 11,000 votes in the primary, which he lost to Joni Ernst who went on to win election to the Senate.

And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Judiciary Committee member who once said there'd be "holy hell to pay" if Trump fired Sessions, called the relationship "dysfunctional" and said he thought the president had the right after the midterm to select a new attorney general.

- Can the probe's report on Trump be stifled?

"[Mueller's team is] looking for ties, they're looking for relationships, and a lot of that will come down to money trails", Jennifer Rodgers, the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School, told NPR a year ago.