Congressional Responses to Sessions Firing Seek to Protect Mueller

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"Comments that Matt Whitaker made as a private citizen on cable TV does not disqualify him from being fair and impartial by overseeing this investigation", she said. "The only thing standing between Trump and Mueller was Ron Rosenstein and he has been removed from the supervision of the investigation. When you say "doctored" you're a dishonest guy!"

Rosenstein told reporters Friday that based on his experiences with Whitaker, "I think he's a superb choice for attorney general".

"He's totally unqualified, and his only qualification seems to be that the President wants him to be the hatchet man to destroy the Mueller investigation", Nadler said. Whitaker made his opposition to Mueller's investigation clear in comments before he was appointed Acting Attorney General.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sacked by Donald Trump Wednesday, casting a cloud over the Russian Federation investigation that has dogged the White House, a day after Republicans lost control over the lower house of Congress.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

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President Donald Trump distanced himself Friday from his new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, whose past business ties and comments on the Russian Federation investigation and other topics have drawn scrutiny.

Experts said he has the power to block Mr Mueller from chasing investigative leads and issuing significant subpoenas - of Mr Trump for example - and indictments. In all likelihood, Whitaker will remain acting Attorney General until a new person can be confirmed to the post by the Senate, which likely won't come until February at the earliest.

McConnell also echoed Trumps' warnings on investigations, saying: "The Democrats in the House will have to decide just how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy".

The president was not happy to receive a question about George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway who wrote a scathing op-ed on Thursday that called Trump's appointment of Whitaker unconstitutional.

Trump added that Whitaker was confirmed for a previous job - as the US attorney in Iowa.

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Adding to the concerns of Democrats is Whitaker's ties to a witness in the Mueller investigation: Sam Clovis. The son of Cuban refugees, Acosta went to Harvard for both college and law school and clerked for the Supreme Court.

Documents show that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was on the advisory board of a Florida company fined $26 million by the Federal Trade Commission; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports. Mr. Whitaker needs to understand that he will be called to answer.

"They've been working really closely on this for months", the administration official said.

Whitaker has given no signs he plans to step back from the probe, saying he is "committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans". "I haven't even thought about it".

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