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Protests to protect Robert Mueller planned nationwide after Jeff Sessions firing

09 November 2018, 07:33 | Devin Moran

Modal Trigger Chris Christie Getty Images

Chris Christie

"Trump's ouster of AG Sessions and replacing him with Trump toady Matthew Whitaker is clearly a move to interfere with the investigation of Russia's attack on the 2016 election". Trump told associates that he felt that Whitaker would be "loyal" and would not have recused himself from the Russian Federation probe as Sessions had done, according to two Republicans close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Sign up for the new United States morning briefing Could the investigation be shut down?

Mueller's grand jury has heard testimony for months about Trump confidant Roger Stone and what advance knowledge he may have had about Russian hacking of Democratic emails.

CNN reports that Christie is not believed to have met with the president Thursday.

"Everybody is in love", he said at a White House press conference.

Asked whether Whitaker would assume control over Mueller's investigation, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".

Rosenstein remains at the department and could still be involved in oversight. Federal prosecutors have said in court papers that the case involves numerous "uncharged" third parties and have argued against disclosing search warrants and other documents that would "certainly result in a very public guessing game" about their identities.

Democrats said they feared the decision to appoint Mr Whitaker was the prelude to a decision by Mr Trump to terminate the investigation by Mr Mueller, which the president has constantly described as a "witch hunt".




Trump originally said he fired Comey on the recommendation of Sessions and Rosenstein for mishandling the inquiry into Clinton's use of private email when she was secretary of state, although the president later acknowledged he acted because of Comey's pursuit of "this Russian Federation thing". "Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein must be allowed to protect the Special Counsel and insulate the investigation from interference by the White House".

"Every president deserves an attorney general they have confidence in and they can work with", he said.

A furious US President Donald Trump on Wednesday fired his attorney general Jeff Sessions and threatened to retaliate with a "warlike posture" against the new Democratic House majority if it uses its subpoena power to launch investigations into his administration, signaling a precipitous deterioration in the domestic politics of the world's leading democracy.

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.

But Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, said he thought such a lawsuit would be unlikely to succeed because the US Supreme Court has said the president has wide latitude to fire executive branch officials. It was an older crowd, and many held signs deriding Trump or supporting Mueller. Nobody Is Above The Law said it wants Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation.

Democrats also raised concerns about the appointment of Whitaker, 49, who will now oversee Mueller's probe.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said Mueller's probe will continue to its end "because no new attorney general can be can be confirmed who will stop that investigation". Mueller and Trump's lawyers have negotiated for months about a possible interview, with no agreement in sight.



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