With New Justice Official, Fate of Russia Probe in Question

With New Justice Official, Fate of Russia Probe in Question

With New Justice Official, Fate of Russia Probe in Question

The move Wednesday has potentially ominous implications for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe given that the new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, until now Sessions' chief of staff, has questioned the inquiry's scope and spoke publicly before joining the Justice Department about ways an attorney general could theoretically stymie the investigation.

In a tweet Wednesday, shortly after Sessions' dismissal was announced, Toomey praised Sessions - who previously was one of his GOP Senate colleagues - and said he wants to see Trump nominate "a new Attorney General who is equally committed to the rule of law".

Several of the groups involved in Thursday evening's protests have always been planning what they call "rapid response" protests if Trump tried to fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Mueller's investigation. Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME criticized Trump for stripping Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of his role overseeing the probe.

People in North Alabama will join others nationwide on Thursday to protest former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' forced resignation. Mitt Romney, who just won election to the U.S. Senate from Utah, also tweeted that the Mueller probe should be allowed to proceed "to its conclusion unimpeded". Whitaker will oversee the Mueller investigation.

The president asked for Sessions' resignation earlier this week following the midterm elections.

Lamar Alexander, Republican senator for Tennessee, also issued a warning from the Republican side, saying that the Senate will not confirm a successor to Sessions who would stop the Russian Federation investigation.

"Well I don't know why he'd be recused".

Democrats have slammed Whitaker's appointment to replace Sessions, arguing that Trump is trying to undermine Mueller and demanding that Whitaker recuse himself from supervising the Mueller investigation due to his writings and public comments attacking the investigation.

"Committees will also be investigating Attorney General Sessions' departure".

Trump was only a few weeks into his presidency in March 2017 when Sessions upset him by stepping aside from overseeing an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Mueller could seek to challenge his own firing if he felt Whitaker lacked the good cause required by the special counsel regulation, said Ohlin.

Congressional Democrats, including newly elected members of the House, held a conference call on Thursday to discuss Sessions' ouster, Democratic lawmakers and aides said.

After starting his career in private practice, Whitaker first ran for office in 2002, losing a race for state treasurer to longtime Democratic incumbent Michael Fitzgerald. It culminated in the White House later banning a CNN reporter who questioned the President aggressively on why he insisted on calling a migrant caravan that is hundreds of miles from the United States border an 'invasion'.

In July 2017 Mr Trump told the New York Times: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else". "There is no mistaking what this means, and what is at stake: this is a constitutionally perilous moment for our country and for the president".

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