Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Russian Federation probe 'under threat' after Sessions fired

U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker speaks during a news conference Wednesday Dec. 20 2006 in Des Moines Iowa. The federal government has charged 23 illegal aliens taken into custody last week at a raid at a Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown I Trump ousts U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announces interim replacement
Deanna Wagner | 09 November, 2018, 06:35

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from President Donald Trump, who inserted in his place a Republican Party loyalist with authority to oversee the remainder of the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the probe as his predecessor had, "given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations" on it.

The marches formed a day after Trump fired Sessions, who had recused himself of the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government agents.

"Many experts view Trump's firing yesterday of Attorney Jeff Sessions as a potential obstruction of justice attempt", said organizers of the protest, including Democrats Abroad Vancouver.

Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself from overseeing the Mueller probe, the Washington Post reported.

Those concerns are now focused on the future of the Mueller probe, which began as a look into alleged links with Russians seeking to disrupt the election and expanded into an investigation of billionaire Trump's murky finances, including his business ties to Russia.

Beyond Mueller, but also within the Justice Department's oversight, is a federal investigation into Trump's longtime legal fixer, Michael Cohen, who admitted as part of a guilty plea in August to coordinating with Trump on a hush-money scheme to silence a porn actress and an ex-Playboy model who say they had affairs with Trump.

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".

People in North Alabama will join others nationwide on Thursday to protest former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' forced resignation.

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus 'teaches' Owen Farrell's controversial tackle in training
De Klerk will nearly certainly start‚ but it does remove another opportunity for the likes of Van Zyl and Embrose Papier to grow at Test level.

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".

Several Republican senators, including the newly elected Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate, said that the investigation led by Robert Mueller must be allowed to reach its conclusion.

"The President has said on multiple occasions the Mueller investigation should be completed".

As reason for his recusal, Sessions cited news reports of two undisclosed meetings he had with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to Washington. "There is no mistaking what this means, and what is at stake: this is a constitutionally perilous moment for our country and for the president".

He also said the line of succession within the Justice Department does not include the chief of staff and the fact that someone in that position would be made acting attorney general is "very odd".

"Donald Trump may think he has the power to hire and fire whomever he pleases, but he can not take such action if it is determined that it is for the purposes of subverting the rule of law and obstructing justice", Nadler said in a statement.

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

Under the special counsel regulation, Whitaker has the power to block any "investigative or procedural step" Mueller recommends, such as bringing an indictment or subpoena, if he determines it to be "inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices".

In piercing attacks, Trump called Sessions weak and beleaguered.