Democrats Seek Hearing on Trump's Ouster of Sessions

U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico Va 2017

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Matthew Whitaker would be appointed acting US attorney general after Jeff Sessions resigned from the position just a day after the midterm elections.

He named Whitaker, 49, who had served as Sessions's chief of staff, as acting attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department.

That set off immediate alarm bells: Whitaker has been overtly critical of the broad scope granted to Mueller's team to probe beyond allegations Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in 2016, into other ties between Trump, his family and aides, and Russian Federation - an investigation the president calls a "witch hunt". It's clear to me it's not working, was not working between Attorney General Sessions and President Trump.

People in North Alabama will join others nationwide on Thursday to protest former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' forced resignation.

Those opinions have led some leading Democrats, as well as protesters in several cities tonight, to call Whitaker to recuse himself and to protect Robert Mueller.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee who won the Utah race on Tuesday to become a U.S. senator, also said Mueller's probe should not be affected by Sessions' dismissal.

With the midterms over, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be preparing fresh indictments against Trump campaign figures, possibly including his son Donald Trump Jr. and a former campaign consultant Roger Stone, and could press for the president himself to answer questions.

Other names being floated include Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been handling negotiations with Mueller's team over what questions Trump would have to mention in the Russian Federation probe.

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Whitaker also once worked as chairman of Sam Clovis' failed campaign for Iowa state treasurer in 2014. He has been interviewed as part of Mueller's probe.

"I just don't understand it because why invite this kind of criticism or scrutiny which you knew it was going to come because of the comments he's made earlier", said Gonzales.

"The (Democrats') first step would be to protect the investigation, they would do that by making sure all documents were secured by ensuring Mueller's investigative team was not broken up", he said, adding: "On Capitol Hill, the Democrats are quite likely to call for a floor vote immediately to countermand and reverse the firing".

In the president's orbit, there remains some concern about his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., though there are no outward indications that charges are imminent, according to a Republican close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Sessions, who was an early backer of the Trump campaign, recused himself in March 2017 from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation under a similar rule which prohibits officials from overseeing investigations into subjects with whom they have a "a personal or political relationship".

In fact, Whitaker told CNN previous year that a future attorney general could limit Mueller by reducing the budget "so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".

Mueller could seek to challenge his own firing if he felt Whitaker lacked the good cause required by the special counsel regulation, said Ohlin. The "independent DOJ" theme is meant to weaken President Trump and succeeding Republican presidents, and Mueller's Switch Project represents an institutionalization of Barack Obama's Department of Justice, in permanent opposition to the president whom the American people elected. At this point, the investigation has lasted almost a year and a half. Sessions reportedly resigned at the request of the president.

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