World Media

Judge Nap: Whitaker Not 'Legally Qualified' to Be Acting Attorney General

Judge Nap: Whitaker Not 'Legally Qualified' to Be Acting Attorney General

It's not clear whether his connections to Sam Clovis, who if friends with Whitaker and has been questioned in the Mueller probe, and with the president would be enough to force his recusal.

Minutes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' exit was announced by the White House, Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker was named as acting attorney general.

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.

A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Thursday called Mueller's investigation a "headache" for USA authorities but said it "has nothing to do with us", and he declined to comment on Sessions' departure.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said that the acting attorney general - meaning Whitaker - is in charge of "all matters" within the department, including the Russian Federation probe.

In the House of Representatives, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee - which Democrats will control from January - called for an investigation of Sessions' firing.

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.

Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who has appeared with Trump at campaign events, has also been floated.

Ginsburg, 85, hospitalized after fracturing 3 ribs in fall
The 85-year-old justice broke ribs on the left side of her body and has been hospitalized for observation and treatment. The justice married Marty Ginsburg in 1954 and the couple attended Harvard Law School together.

Top Democrats on multiple committees wrote to key Trump administration officials Wednesday night informing them that committees will be investigating Sessions' departure. They also want Congress to take steps to protect the special counsel's office. Whitaker has spoken critically about the Mueller probe and spoke in a TV interview about choking off its funding.

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington.

In addition to Sessions' ouster, Democrats are also interested in looking into Mr. Trump's tax returns, and worldwide business dealings. Democrats are particularly interested in how Whitaker will oversee the Mueller probe, given his past comments questioning the scope of the investigation. But the former federal prosecutor went from being one of Trump's closest campaign advisers to an outcast.

Sessions, fired by President Trump a day after Republicans lost control of the House in the midterm elections, left the seat in 2017 when he was nominated to head up the Justice Department.

Politico noted that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Sen.

Sessions took the lead in imposing Trump's travel ban targeting a number of mostly Muslim nations, canceling the so-called Dreamer program that let the children of undocumented immigrants remain in the USA and forcing the separation of migrant families as part of a border crossing crackdown.

-With assistance from Steven T. Dennis.


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