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Russian Federation probe 'under threat' after Sessions fired
09 November 2018, 04:11 | Erica Roy
What will acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker mean for the Mueller inquiry?
The ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Donald Trump on Wednesday drew sharp criticism from Democrats, who warned Trump against moving to squash a probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.
On Wednesday, Goodlatte issued a statement praising Sessions' service as attorney general and wishing Whitaker well in his new role.
If that stands, there are other ways that Trump and a newly simpatico attorney general could complicate Mueller's work.
But it's not typical for chiefs of staff to replace the head of an agency when that head resigns, as former CIA staffer and NBC contributor Ned Price pointed out.
The latest indication of the fury came Wednesday when he forced out his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, whose recusal opened the door to Mueller's appointment. "That's why Cabinet Secretaries have Deputies".
Probably. Mueller has clearly pursued allegations that Trump criminally obstructed the Russian Federation probe, mainly by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey in May 2017 - the move that led directly to Mueller's appointment.
About six Congressional Democrats including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden and Cory Booker stressed that Trump may be attempting to disrupt the Mueller investigation and called on Whitaker to recuse himself.
"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.
Trump's nomination of a permanent replacement for Sessions will require confirmation by the US Senate, which remains in Republican control following Tuesday's midterm elections.
Whitaker's views as an outside commentator before joining the government have been music to the ears of Trump and Republicans.
Whitaker has previously questioned the scope of the Mueller probe, writing an opinion column for CNN past year charging that the investigation would be going too far if expanded to include Trump family finances.
Asked Wednesday if Whitaker would take control of the probe, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".
He is a longtime friend of Trump and endorsed him after dropping out of the 2016 presidential campaign.
"In my time as Attorney General we have restored and upheld the rule of law", Sessions said in the letter addressed to Trump. Chuck Schumer, said he should recuse himself because of his comments on the probe. Rep.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement on Wednesday that the US Senate must ensure that whomever Trump nominates to replace Sessions will not interfere in Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
He also announced media leak crackdowns and tougher policies against opioids, and his Justice Department defended a since-abandoned administration policy that resulted in migrant parents being separated from their children at the border.
The Democrats, who won the House in the mid-terms, have vowed to protect it.
The announcement set off a frenzy inside the White House, with Trump directing his White House counsel to call Sessions beforehand and urge him not to step aside. He appointed Mueller in May 2017 as the Justice Department's special counsel to take control of the FBI's Russian Federation probe after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
OPEC output cuts likely next year
Trump's decision has been opposed by European powers as well as other nations including India, which has largely warm relations with Iran.
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