Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday, November 7, his replacement, Matt Whitaker, will now oversee the Robert Mueller investigation, the Hill is reporting. According to Sessions’ resignation letter, President Donald Trump actually asked him to resign. This position change means that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will no longer be in charge of the federal Russia investigation.
“The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice,” DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed in a statement.
While Sessions was the first GOP senator to openly support Trump while he was campaigning in 2016, he ended up receiving many insults from Trump after Sessions was recused in the Russia probe. As for Whitaker, many other politicians do not feel he is properly up for the task of the Mueller probe due to comments he’s made about the situation in the past.
“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,” Senator Charles Schumer said in a statement on Wednesday.
Whitaker even wrote an op-ed for CNN where he said that Mueller’s investigation was going “too far.” Many people find it suspicious that this shift in employment occurred the day after the 2018 midterm elections, where Democrats became the majority of the House. Democratic candidates have often said they want to hold Trump accountable and restore checks and balances to the government, and some are theorizing that Trump enlisted Whitaker to his team to perhaps help cover something up.
“Americans must have answers immediately as to the reasoning behind @realDonaldTrump removing Jeff Sessions from @TheJusticeDept,” tweeted Representative Jerrold Nadler. “Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation? We will be holding people accountable.”
According to CNN, Trump has taken other actions in the past that have added to the public’s skepticism, such as tweeting that Sessions “should stop” the Mueller investigation. This led many Twitter users to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice. With all of these changes going on, the nation is left hanging in the balance as citizens wait to see if anything comes of the Mueller investigation which reportedly will be complete in months or possibly weeks. With Whitaker now taking the position of Attorney General, many Americans are worried that the investigation will be hindered.