Panic over Mueller's fate after Trump sacks AG Jeff Sessions

Watch Stephen Colbert Election Night Special Online

Watch Stephen Colbert Election Night Special Online

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 - President Donald Trump said on Friday he had not discussed the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election with Matt Whitaker before appointing him as acting attorney general, and it was up to Whitaker whether he wanted to be involved with the investigation.

That contradicted remarks Trump made on Fox News last month, when he called Whitaker "a great guy" and said "I mean, I know Matt Whitaker".

Kreutz said the appointment of Whitaker, whom the AP called "a Republican Party loyalist", eventually could end the probe by cutting funding. "I'd like to know the truth", said Pat Noga, an Emmaus resident. But U.S. District Judge James Bredar moved ahead despite their opposition.

The Mueller investigation appears to have advanced prior to the midterm elections, Allen said in a note, but Whitaker will likely immediately take steps to limit the scope and duration of the probe.

"He was very, very highly thought of, and still is highly thought of, but this only comes up because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them", Trump said.

A replacement for Mueller though would have no such constraints, potentially allowing Trump to hamstring the investigators. Whitaker criticized both aspects past year, and as he is now taking over oversight of the probe, he could try to strangle it, or even rescind Mueller's appointment. Before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker was openly critical of the Mueller investigation.




Trump had repeatedly assailed him publicly for not taking a tougher approach to illegal immigrants, and accused him of protecting Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians - an investigation that is also examining whether the president himself obstructed justice.

"Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general", Schumer said via Twitter on Wednesday.

The New York senator said he found the timing of Sessions's departure "very suspect".

"If Mueller wants to do any more subpoenas, if he wants to bring in Don Jr.to talk about the meeting at Trump Tower, he has to go through Whitaker to make that happen", said Scot Northern, who attended the protest in Iowa City.

Mueller is probing both Russia's interference and whether Trump's presidential campaign may have colluded with Moscow. The president said critics are only objecting to Mr. Whitaker now because he appointed him. The group also urged people to pressure Congress to protect the Mueller investigation.

They are calling for a "rapid response" to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the investigation.

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