White House braces for Robert Mueller's next steps

09 November, 2018, 20:14 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Matthew Whitaker is replacing his former boss Jeff Sessions

Whitaker will now oversee the investigation of interference from Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential elections as well as possible collusion with the campaign of President Trump, a controversial probe headed by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Also, some of the leads developed by Mueller already have been turned over to other Justice Department units, including the US attorney in Manhattan.

At a protest in support of Mueller outside the White House, a crowd of several hundred protesters shouted anti-Trump slogans.

Sessions resigned Wednesday - indicating he did so at Trump's request - and the President appointed Matthew Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, as the Acting Attorney General. He called Trump's recent actions "a rerun of the 'Saturday Night Massacre, ' " a reference to the October 20, 1973 resignations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general after each refused an order by President Richard Nixon to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Dozens of protesters gathered Thursday on the steps of the State House in Augusta.

"He wants a political crony to protect him from the investigation of his own campaign", she said. Justice Department officials said that under normal circumstances, the deputy attorney general would likely play an active, hands-on role in overseeing such a high profile probe, and they had no reason to believe that Rosenstein would now be cut out. She said she called on people to contact legislators and form a public outcry about Sessions' resignation that will have to be addressed.

Sources close to the matter told CBS News on Thursday that Christie, a one-time presidential candidate, is part of a list that includes former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, outgoing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and former Attorney General William Barr, who served under President George H.W. Bush, CBS reported. Sessions had endured months of public abuse from Trump, who soured on Sessions because he recused himself from oversight of the Russian Federation investigation shortly after he arrived at the Justice Department.

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Spats between Trump and journalists can sometimes seem circus-like, but critics say the president's hot temper illustrates his deeper disdain for Washington norms - and allegedly for the rule of law.

"Firing Sessions was Trump's way of appointing a loyalist to control the investigation", said Jacob Beard, a 33-year-old software technician from Manhattan.

"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue".

The probe cost more than $16 million during its first year, according to figures released by the Justice Department in May. Mueller's direct spending during that period was about $4.5 million. Both refused and resigned, before Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in command at the Department of Justice, agreed to fire Cox.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (2nd L) leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

David Bosel, a retired political scientist, described Trump's attempts to scupper the Mueller investigation as "dictatorial" and accused most Republicans in Congress of helping Trump tilt the U.S. towards "fascism". Mueller's budget isn't affected by a current stopgap spending measure that expires on December 9.

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