Whitaker was campaign chairman for Mueller witness

Whitaker was campaign chairman for Mueller witness

Whitaker was campaign chairman for Mueller witness

The president then appointed Sessions' chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, to run the Justice Department on an interim basis.

"From my perspective, it doesn't look good", Gonzales told CBC News in a phone interview. "I like Jeff Sessions".

Sessions recused himself from overseeing a probe in March 2017, shortly after taking office.

The Saturday Night Massacre refers to October 20, 1973, when the US Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than obey President Richard Nixon's order to fire special counsel Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate scandal.

And separately, in July 2017, Whitaker told CNN, "I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

In a CNN op-ed a year ago, Whitaker wrote, "Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russian Federation 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing".

Asked whether Whitaker would assume control over Mueller's investigation, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".

Whitaker, who had a stint as a legal commentator for CNN, has been vocal in his criticism of Mueller's investigation and its scope.

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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. "I'd like to know the truth", said Pat Noga, an Emmaus resident. "And [to] put him in this position at Justice to me is somewhat confounding".

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. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that "protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount".

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.

"The president's entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that's qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice", Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, who may be in line to head the Judiciary Committee next year, told reporters in August. Why choose this person?'

The row, carried live on national TV networks, was followed by Trump issuing angry put-downs to several other reporters. He'll likely be remembered as the worst Attorney General in American history. President George W. Bush appointed him as the US attorney based in Des Moines in 2004. Gonzales maintained the dismissals were rooted in lacklustre performance records.

In addition to Healey, the document was signed by 17 other attorneys generals from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington state, Virginia, New Mexico and Maryland.

He had also pressed to reauthorize a controversial secret domestic spying program over the Justice Department's protests.

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