Vox is reporting today that a group of Senate Democrats are suing to try to strike down President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.
The article reports:
The suit, filed in DC federal district court by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Mazie Hirono (HI), argues that Whitaker’s appointment was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed by the Senate to his prior position.
…On November 7, Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, and Sessions agreed. But rather than letting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein succeed to the post, Trump installed Whitaker, who was Sessions’s chief of staff — a job that did not require Senate confirmation.
Trump did this by using a law called the Vacancies Reform Act. Some legal experts have argued the appointment was legal. But others assert the president can’t bump someone up to a Cabinet-level position (a “principal officer” of the executive branch) if that person hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate for this stint in government. That’s the argument Senate Democrats are making in this lawsuit.
Democrats have been sounding the alarm about Whitaker, who repeatedly echoed Trump’s criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe before he joined the Justice Department. Sessions had recused himself from oversight of Mueller’s investigation, but Whitaker has given no indication he’ll do the same. There are also various controversies involving his business background.
Just a few reminders here. Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter requesting the firing of James Comey. He is a witness in the investigation Mueller is conducting and would be overseeing the investigation if he were Attorney General. How is that not a conflict of interest? Rod Rosenstein (based on past actions) would seem to be a part of the Washington swamp. There is no indication that Whitaker is part of that swamp, and based on the opposition to him by the Senate, I suspect that he is not part of the swamp. There are serious questions about the Mueller investigation going back to the beginning–the scope of the investigation seems to be unlimited, the midnight raid on Paul Manafort seemed to be totally inappropriate as Manafort was a cooperating witness, the indictments Mueller has brought have nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 campaign that he is supposed to be investigating, and everything he has charged people with has nothing to do with the election. Regardless of who is Attorney General, it is time for Mueller to admit he has no evidence (as originally noted by Peter Strzok’s who commented that he hesitated to get involved in the investigation because he didn’t think there was anything there) and write his report.
I go back to my original question, “Why are the Democrats so afraid of Matthew Whitaker becoming acting Attorney General?”