Matt Whitaker Refusal Of Mueller Subpoena Announcement Made By Washington Post

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Donald Trump berated and abused his Attorney General (AG) Jeff Session ever since the AG recused himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The AG had no other legal option. After all, he worked on the Trump campaign and as such met with the Russians several times. The new acting AG, Matt Whitaker is the man who leads the entire federal law agency now, but he has ethical issues himself. In addition, Whitaker apparently has no question in his mind about recusing himself from overseeing Mueller.

Whitaker is a political animal. He came to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in mid-2017 after writing a CNN opinion column called Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far. In it he wrote that the investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential elections and any possible conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign should avoid Trump’s financial information.

One month later, he became Session’s chief of staff and Trump’s mole in the DOJ. A little over a year later, Trump appointed the attorney as acting attorney general. Now, he is both Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein’s and Robert Mueller’s boss.

There has been some question about whether the president could constitutionally place Whitaker in his current position. Traditionally, Rosenstein would have stepped into Sessions’ shoes. Of course, the president could have then fired Rosenstein and work his way down the DOJ ladder until he found someone willing to reign in Mueller. As usual, Trump did not follow the traditional path.

Two people close to Whitaker say that they do no believe he will recuse himself. They added that the acting AG probably would not approve a Mueller subpoena of Trump either, according to The Washington Post,

It is likely that the DOJ ethics official will do an ethics review into Whitaker’s background to see whether he has anything financial or personal that would require him to recuse himself. Even though previous DOJ officials have followed their advice, Whitaker does not have to do so.

The reasons Whitaker should be recused included that opinion column and videos of him expressing his opinion on the Mueller investigation. That meant he has already aired judicial prejudice against the case. That which brought him to his current position was exactly that which should have kept him away from the Muller investigation a year later. When there is a special investigation, there is no room for even any appearance of impropriety.

Two people close to Whitaker say that they do no believe he will recuse himself. They added that the acting AG probably would not approve a Mueller subpoena of Trump either, according to The Washington Post,

It is likely that the DOJ ethics official will do an ethics review into Whitaker’s background to see whether he has anything financial or personal that would require him to recuse himself. Even though previous DOJ officials have followed their advice, Whitaker does not have to do so.

Trump has long admitted that he wanted the AG to be his own protector. In fact, he had a wrong impression of former AG Eric Holder’s relationship to President Barack Obama. Holder worked hard to stay as far removed from his president as possible.

Even though he was a recent addition to the DOJ, Whitaker freely expressed his frustration about Mueller’s investigation and the special counsel’s scope of authority. He doubted Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s preference of giving Mueller so much latitude. Rosenstein “walled off” the DOJ attorney general’s office from the investigation.

Ironically, Whitaker agreed that Sessions should have recused himself.

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.

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