He has drawn scrutiny given his previous comments blasting Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, which he now oversees.
Installed without Senate advise-and-consent, Whitaker, who inherits oversight of Mueller's investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has stated that "The Trump Organization's business dealings are plainly not within the scope of the investigation, nor should they be". He declined to comment on his discussions with White House officials about his ouster. Trump defended the ban by saying: "This is a very sacred place".
Organisers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation".
Despite calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, like Sessions did at the dawn of the Trump administration, The Washington Post reported that he has no intention of doing so. The most drastic act he could take is to shut down the investigation completely, though that would risk a backlash from Congress and make it more likely Trump would be impeached by the Democratic House. It has been used as a weapon in the drive by the Democrats and sections of the military/intelligence establishment to force Trump to adopt a more aggressive posture against Moscow and in the war for regime-change in Syria. "That also happens to be my view". And the department is expected to receive a confidential report of Mueller's findings, though it's unclear how much will be public.
"We don't discuss recusals but there is no reason to think that is the case", a Justice Department spokeswoman said after Sessions left Wednesday.
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Some Democrats quickly demanded that Whitaker, as well, should recuse himself from supervising Mueller, as Sessions did.
"We saw that in the election this week, and we saw that again tonight", he said.
In an email to Department of Justice staff on Friday, Whitaker vowed to lead "a fair Department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans". And since Sessions technically resigned instead of forcing the White House to fire him, he opened the door under federal law to allowing the president to choose his successor instead of simply elevating Rosenstein, said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck. It's promising that Republican Sens.
Jeff Flake and Christopher Coons on Thursday said they plan to push legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as supporters of the probe demonstrated across the country.
It was not widely known among the staff that he had commented repeatedly on the special counsel's investigation in interviews and on television - an irony given that Whitaker's TV appearances helped him land his job at the Justice Department and people close to Trump encouraged Whitaker to keep up his TV appearances to draw Trump's attention. He linked on August 6, 2017, to a CNN opinion piece he'd written asserting Mueller's investigation had gone too far.