Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment Threatens the Rule of Law

Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment Threatens the Rule of Law

Thousands of people are marching from Times Square to Union Square on Thursday evening in solidarity with nationwide protests demanding Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, fearing he will end or limit the investigation.

Beverly Hadden, of Cottonwood, said this was part of a nationwide protest coordinated to take place Thursday at 5 p.m.

As for the reports on Trump, if Whitaker suppresses them, the House Judiciary Committee could subpoena them and make them public.

Whitaker has given no indication he believes he needs to step aside from ultimately overseeing Mueller's investigation, one person familiar with his thinking told CNN Thursday. "I'd like to know the truth", said Pat Noga, an Emmaus resident.

Some protesters said they fear Trump is close to causing a constitutional crisis. He also lamented that in Sessions he had no attorney general.

Moscow denies interfering in the 2016 election.

In an interview with The Washington Times last week, Mr. Trump said he had just wrapped up a meeting with Mr. Whitaker and others on election security at the White House.

He also said on CNN previous year that he could see a scenario in which Sessions' replacement doesn't fire Mueller but "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt". "He should continue to do so, as Mr. Mueller's work must proceed free from interference or supervision that would appear to many Americans to be biased". He added that Whitaker's role heading the Justice Department will be a brief one.

Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney from Iowa and a Hawkeye, has been an outspoken critic of the probe. "To #ProtectMueller's investigation, Acting Attorney General Whitaker must recuse himself given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation".

In cities across the country Thursday - including in Eugene and Portland - protesters gathered over Sessions' ousting and concerns about what that could mean for Mueller's investigation.

"When this happened yesterday, people started mobilizing very quickly", said Margaret Foley, the communications director for Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX.

"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.

The President's comments are at odds with the relationship Trump has forged with Whitaker in recent months, even as his opinion of Sessions continued to sour.

Trump was asked about Robert Mueller's probe, and he replied: "I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it".

Several GOP officials in Iowa who have known Whitaker for a long time say they were surprised by his shift in the Trump era.

The White House is bracing for the probe of Donald Trump's presidential campaign to fire up again.

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