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Hundreds Gather to Protest Trump's Latest Threats to the Mueller Investigation
10 November 2018, 02:39 | Devin Moran
Fears for Russia probe as Trump fires Jeff Sessions
President Donald Trump is calling acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker "a very highly respected man" as he faces criticism about his appointment to replace Jeff Sessions. He said he thinks it's very likely the investigation is going to reach its conclusion.
"He worships him", a longtime friend said of Whitaker and Trump.
The president also castigated CNN reporter Abby Phillip for asking if he wanted Whitaker to "rein in" the special counsel.
Four federal judges have upheld Mueller's authority, including U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who rejected Miller's arguments and held him in contempt for resisting a Mueller subpoena.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's top deputy, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O'Callaghan, met with lawyers from the special counsel's team, according to a source familiar with the matter - just as he has been doing on almost a biweekly basis for months, as CNN previously reported.
In a letter saying the move placed the country "in the throes of a constitutional crisis", House Judiciary Committee Democrats demanded action from the panel's Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and called for bipartisan legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any effort to stymie the probe. "People know that Trump is trying to shut down the investigation and they don't want that to happen".
After Trump named Whitaker acting attorney general, a Justice Department spokeswoman said he would oversee all matters under the department's jurisdiction, including the Russian Federation investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Miller's lawyer told reporters Thursday that if they lose at the appeals court level, they intend to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. So far that has been the job of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.
"Sometimes the voters need to do more than vote", she said.
When asked whether Whitaker would now assume control over the Mueller investigation, U.S. Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters" under the purview of the department.
"Because a reasonable person could question your impartiality in the matter, your recusal is necessary to protect the essential and longstanding independence of the department", the attorneys general said in the letter, which was written by Healey.
One senior White House official noted that the Sessions situation was different.
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The president took his message around the country and managed to solidify and actually increase Republican control in the Senate . Whitaker "should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller's investigations", given his "threats" to weaken the probe .
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