Trump’s Plan To Gut Mueller Probe Backfires As Whitaker Looks To Recuse Himself: Report
Donald Trump decided to fire former Attorney General Jeff Sessions from his post the day after Republicans lost control of the House, a move many critics saw as an attempt by the president to stop special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
But now, according to a new report, acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will be consulting ethics officials about a possible recusal from the ongoing Mueller investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
“Acting AG Matt Whitaker is fully committed to following all appropriate processes and procedures at the Department of Justice, including consulting with senior ethics officials on his oversight responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal,” spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
Sessions had decided to recuse himself from the investigation a couple of months into Trump’s presidency. This move had ultimately bothered Trump because he thought his attorney general was supposed to have his back. Trump lashed out at Sessions on multiple occasions for this same reason.
Now, it appears Trump’s plan to stop the Mueller investigation by hiring Whitaker to take Sessions spot will backfire as he looks to recuse himself as well.
On Sunday, top Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate sent a letter to the Justice Department’s chief ethics officer to ask whether Whitaker had received any guidance on possibly recusing himself from the Russia probe.
“Allowing a vocal opponent of the investigation to oversee it will severely undermine public confidence in the Justice Department’s work on this critically important matter,” the letter said.