Democrats signal they want to investigate Jeff Sessions' ouster and replacement

09 November, 2018, 05:51 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller lost crucial protective insulation for his Russian Federation collusion investigation when President Donald Trump fired attorney general Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.

"Whitaker must recuse and Congress must act to protect the Mueller investigation", said an organizer of the march outside the White House.

Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama and one of the first members of Congress to back Trump's presidential campaign in 2015.

Sessions had recused himself from the investigation, because of his own contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign, instead handing responsibility for Mueller to his deputy Rod Rosenstein.

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 rule of law is disappearing before our eyes", tweeted Sally Yates, a deputy attorney general under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama and briefly in the top job under Trump before he sacked her.

Mueller is said to be in the process of writing his "final report", which is sure to be incredibly hostile to the Trump administration and people close to the president.

The special counsel has also been investigating whether Mr Comey's firing amounted to obstruction of justice.

In this April 24, 2014, file photo, then-Iowa Republican senatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker watches before a live televised debate in Johnston, Iowa.


"The chances of Mueller being interfered with goes up dramatically" with Whitaker's appointment, he said.

The rift lingered for the duration of Sessions' tenure, and the attorney general, despite praising the president's agenda and hewing to his priorities, never managed to return to Trump's good graces.

Republican Luther Strange, who was temporarily appointed to Sessions' seat, took to Twitter to encourage him to run.

Nevertheless he appealed to Republicans not "beholden" to Donald Trump to reign in any attempt to fire Mueller.

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department. One was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April, making it eligible for a full Senate vote.

"Trump's actions are being compared with those of U.S. President Richard Nixon in one of the most controversial episodes of the Watergate scandal, the Saturday Night Massacre", said organizers.

Congressional Democrats have already demanded emergency hearings in the US House of Representatives to investigate President Donald Trump's ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling the move an effort to undermine a federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. Trump wrote. "A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date".

Sessions, 71, has a long political history in Alabama. Another person said that remained true ever after Whitaker took his place.

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