Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump's appointment of Whitaker

Senate Democrats weigh lawsuit over Trump's appointment of Whitaker

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday sent a letter to Trump questioning the legality of Whitaker's appointment, since he was not confirmed by the Senate. Whitaker was Sessions' chief of staff before Trump made him Sessions' interim replacement.

McConnell, a close Trump ally who said Friday that he talks frequently with the president, insisted that Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation in 2016 is not under threat. Whitaker has criticized the probe in the past as too wide-ranging, a view that raised concerns among Democrats that Sessions' ouster and Whitaker's appointment might be a precursor to Trump moving to end it. Someone also reminded Sessions that the last time Whitaker played a role in a purported resignation - a few weeks earlier in September, with Rosenstein - the plan collapsed.

President Donald Trump deflected criticisms of the constitutional validity of the appointment of new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker on Friday by claiming special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed by Senate - but legal experts say that claim is baseless.

Those include an op-ed in which he said Mueller would be straying outside his mandate if he investigated Trump family finances and a talk radio interview in which he maintained that there was no evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Whitaker was "not aware of any fraudulent activity".

Trump said on Friday, as he was departing Washington for a trip to Paris, that he had not discussed the Mueller probe with Whitaker before appointing him, and it was up to Whitaker whether he wanted to be involved with the investigation. "I haven't even thought about it". But I didn't know Matt Whitaker.

When posting the joint letter on Twitter, Maura Healey, Attorney General of MA, said that Whitaker's "hostility to the Special Councel's investigation disqualifies him from overseeing Robort Muller".

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"The president has said repeatedly he's not going to dismiss the Mueller investigation", McConnell told reporters at Kentucky's Capitol.

Russian Federation has denied interfering, and Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, slamming the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt".

"No matter who I put in, they go after him", Trump said."He's a highly respected man, especially by law enforcement, and I think he's going to do a great job".

"I think this will be a very interim AG", McConnell said.

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.

Trump has not said whom he will nominate to permanently replace Sessions.

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