Alberto Gonzales 'profoundly concerned' over choice of new acting U.S. AG

Arturo Kim
November 9, 2018

Trump had repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from any investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Sessions told the president in a one-page letter that he was submitting his resignation "at your request".

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) once vowed that there would be "holy hell to pay" if President Donald Trump ever fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Some senior Republicans, such as former presidential candidate and Utah Senator-elect Mitt Romney, have urged Whitaker to allow the Mueller investigation to run unimpeded.

In a belligerent response to his Republican Party's loss of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm poll - a virtual no-confidence motion against his Presidency from the broader electorate - Trump sacked a pliant cabinet member who he has been angry with for allowing the probe into alleged Russian Federation collusion.

Even after he arrived at the Justice Department, Whitaker harbored frustration about the length of the special counsel probe and doubts about the scope of Mueller's authority, a person familiar with the matter said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took over supervision of the Russian Federation investigation.

According to the Washington Post, Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself, putting the two sides on collision course should the acting attorney general interfere with the Mueller probe.

Asked if that would be to dwindle the special counsel's resources, Whitaker responded, "Right".

Mr Trump said: "According to NBC News, Voters Nationwide Disapprove of the so-called Mueller Investigation (46%) more than they Approve (41%)". However, the publication cited anonymous sources, and added that it was not clear how serious the president was about the idea.

Some Democrats quickly demanded that Whitaker should recuse himself from supervising Mueller, as Sessions did because Whitaker wrote an opinion piece for CNN in August 2017 that argued Mueller had too much latitude in his investigation.

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The decision infuriated Trump, who repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse.

Whitaker is expected to assume oversight of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The White House is bracing for the probe of Donald Trump's presidential campaign to fire up again.

"He worships him", a longtime friend said of Whitaker and Trump.

On Wednesday, Goodlatte issued a statement praising Sessions' service as attorney general and wishing Whitaker well in his new role.

"Americans must have answers immediately as to the reasoning behind" Trump's move to remove Sessions, he said.

Sessions, 71, has a long political history in Alabama.

He had also pressed to reauthorize a controversial secret domestic spying program over the Justice Department's protests.

The Democrats, who won the House in the mid-terms, have vowed to protect it.

If he has found solid evidence, Mueller is not expected to indict the president, given the unsettled state of law on that course of action. "Cox clashed with the White House over Nixon's refusal to release Oval Office recordings, some of which implicated the president in the (Watergate hotel) break-in".

Their relationship wasn't always fractured.

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