After a very successful midterm election where Democrats won big, the people of the United States were confronted by the decision of the President to let Attorney General Jeff Sessions go and to install Session's Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker in his place as the Acting Attorney General. Bit of a problem with doing that, as that jumps the chain of command. The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have gotten the job as he was next in the order of succession. The President is free to make this kind of choice as long as his purpose in doing so is not corrupt, that is, if he's not trying to obstruct justice.
Is there a reason AAG Whitaker should recuse himself or a reason why he should never have been appointed in the first place? Yes. An audio has been located showing that Whitaker had made up his mind as early as June 2017. Whitaker asserted: “The truth is, there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign.” But Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed precisely to investigate the question of whether there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Whitaker was completely unqualified to take over the investigation as of well over a year ago because it is very clear that he made up his mind back then..
So MoveOn called for demonstrations to be held. Ours was one of over a thousand demonstrations nationwide. #NoOneIsAboveTheLaw was a major theme of the demonstrations.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III didn't leave the office of Attorney General as the result of an abrupt decision. It's not known exactly when Sessions turned in his resignation letter, but as the letter was undated, the public announcement of it was clearly timed at the President's convenience. The question here is "Why was Matthew Whitaker hired to replace him?"
Despite the President's insistence that “I don’t know Whitaker” it appears that Whitaker and the President and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly all knew each other quite well. Whitaker appeared to have performed the function of a "politruk" or political commissar, a party official who kept an eye on fellow employees and reported them to the boss. In fact: "[Whitaker] has frequently visited the Oval Office and is said to have an easy chemistry with Mr. Trump." As the linked piece makes clear, Whitaker is by no means qualified to be even a temporary, interim AG.
The White House staff? Yeah, they were caught completely off-guard by the reaction to Whitaker's history as a unhinged anti-Mueller partisan and as someone who was completely unqualified for the post of Attorney General. The hiring of Whitaker shows us yet again that the President isn't terribly difficult to manipulate.
Sam Clovis, a 2016 Trump campaign national chairman who has close ties to Whitaker, encouraged him to get a regular commentary gig on cable television to get Trump's attention, according to friends Whitaker told at the time. Whitaker was hired as a CNN legal commentator last year for several months before leaving the role in September 2017 to head to the Justice Department.
So how do we think Robert Mueller himself and his office will deal with their new boss? A blogger thinks Mueller's got this. Mueller's a careful, long-tern thinker and a lot of work has been
...farmed out to the Federal prosecutorial districts, such as the Southern District of New York or the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as to the state level, such as NY state, Maryland, Virginia, and DC will be handed off to them.As the information needed to prosecute the President isn't all in one office, it can't be sealed off in one quick move. Another blogger has pointed out that Mueller has remained silent by choice. Mueller has not leaked the way Ken Starr did back during the 90s, but that doesn't mean he has to remain quiet. If and when Mueller says his investigation is getting interference from above, he'll be heard loud and clear all over the country.