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With Sessions Out, Dems Fear for Future of Mueller Probe

09 November 2018, 04:12 | Devin Moran

U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe

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On Thursday morning, New York Congressman Jerry Nadler-who will come January chair the House Judiciary Committee-described the situation as a "constitutionally perilous moment for our country", and promised consequences if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were to be taken off the investigation.

Angus King expressed uncertainty Thursday about the effect on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's potential interference in the 2016 USA presidential campaign.

"Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russian Federation investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller's investigation", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Twitter.

The president also warned the Democrats against investigating him, after taking over the House in the midterm elections.

He also worked on an earlier campaign in Iowa for one of Trump's presidential campaign leaders, Sam Clovis, who has figured in the Russian Federation investigation.

Schumer called it "paramount" that Mueller's status be protected by the new attorney general.

The resignation was the culmination of a toxic relationship that frayed just weeks into the attorney general's tumultuous tenure, when he stepped aside from the Mueller investigation. But the work is not done, and critical decisions await that could shape the remainder of Trump's presidency. His spokesman said on Thursday that McConnell has no further comment on the legislation.

Some Democrats also considered Sessions too eager to do Trump's bidding and overly receptive to his grievances. And the department is expected to receive a confidential report of Mueller's findings, though it's unclear how much will be public.

The counselor to the president went on to give credit to Sessions for his work at the Department of Justice, including cracking down on opioid abuse as well as the MS-13 gang.

Before he became Sessions' chief of staff, Whitaker was an accomplished athlete and attorney in Iowa. The undated letter was then sent to the White House.

Rosenstein remains at the department and could still be involved in oversight.

He is a longtime friend of Trump and endorsed him after dropping out of the 2016 presidential campaign.




The probe has been criticised by Mr Sessions's successor Matthew Whitaker.

But if Mueller is still gathering evidence on other matters such as Trump's business relations with Russians going back before the 2016 election, Whitaker may be able to stifle that, ruling it out of the realm of the original mandate.

That left Whitaker in charge, at least for now, though Democrats, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. He recused himself the next day, saying it would be inappropriate to oversee an investigation into a campaign he was part of.

It's been less than 24 hours since ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was booted from the Trump administration, and he's already mulling a political comeback, Politico reported.

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.

Earlier, at a White House news conference, Trump said the Mueller investigation was not good for the United States.

He also ran for Iowa Senate unsuccessfully.

About six Congressional Democrats including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden and Cory Booker stressed that Trump may be attempting to disrupt the Mueller investigation and called on Whitaker to recuse himself.

Some Republicans appear to have shared the Democrats' concern over the future of the inquiry, which is being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The broadsides escalated in recent months, with Trump telling an interviewer that Sessions "never had control" of the Justice Department.

Sessions endured most of the name-calling in silence, though he did issue two public statements defending the department, including one in which he said he would serve "with integrity and honor" for as long as he was in the job.

The Democrats, who won the House in the mid-terms, have vowed to protect it. He did not respond when asked why he was there.



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