Trump Praises Acting Attorney General While Distancing Himself from Controversial Appointee

Fears for Russia probe as Trump fires Jeff Sessions

"You didn't have any problem for Matt Whitaker when he worked for Jeff Sessions".

Moscow denies interfering in the 2016 election. Whitaker was hired as a CNN legal commentator previous year for several months, before leaving the role in September 2017 to head to the Justice Department as chief of staff to now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Protest organizers said Trump's naming of Matthew Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, to be acting attorney general on November 7 was a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation". The move superseded the regular order of succession which would have placed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the Acting AG role.

CNN's K-File also found comments by Whitaker from 2017 calling Mueller's appointment "ridiculous" and "a little fishy".

Before he was sacked by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memo that appears to curtail the Department of Justice's ability to implement and enforce consent decrees like the one Baltimore has entered to reform its police department.

Others have said that Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional, since Trump didn't seek the Senate's advice and consent. The Senate's top Republican predicted a permanent replacement could be named soon for Whitaker, who is now overseeing the Trump-Russia probe.

Whitaker has taken over from Jeff Sessions, who resigned Wednesday after months of pressure from President Trump to do so.

"At your request, I am submitting my resignation", Sessions said in the first line of a letter released by the Department of Justice.

"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it", Trump said of the Russian Federation probe, adding he did not rule out sitting down for an interview with Mueller.

"This is not just about firing Jeff Sessions", Jayapal said, "It is about putting in place somebody who has already clearly demonstrated that he can't oversee this investigation".

By mid-November, the president's attorneys plan to turn over Trump's written answers to roughly a dozen questions the special counsel has posed - including the president's knowledge of the hacked Democratic emails and his advisers' contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is said to be a candidate, along with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, among others.

What does this all mean for the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and what can we expect going forward?

The president tweeted, "Jeff Flake (y) doesn't want to protect the Non-Senate confirmed Special Counsel, he wants to protect his future after being unelectable in Arizona for the "crime" of doing a bad job!"



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