Congressional Responses to Sessions Firing Seek to Protect Mueller

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New Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, whose appointment means he will supervise special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has a personal tie to one of the witnesses in the probe: Whitaker was the campaign chairman for Sam Clovis in 2014 when Clovis ran for state treasurer in Iowa.

On Wednesday, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, raising the possibility that Sessions' replacement - Matthew Whitaker - could seek to curtail Mueller's investigation.

The court's order directed each party in the case to file briefs by Nov. 19 outlining, "what, if any effect, the November 7, 2018 designation of an Acting Attorney General different from the official who appointed Special Counsel Mueller has on this case". Never having gone through a Senate hearing, he is now under scrutiny for his background as a bare-knuckled Republican activist and director of a now-defunct invention-promotion company that the Federal Trade Commission said "bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars". He said there was no evidence of collusion.

Trump had repeatedly assailed him publicly for not taking a tougher approach to illegal immigrants, and accused him of protecting Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians - an investigation that is also examining whether the president himself obstructed justice.

Trump's selection of Whitaker as acting AG (Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation) drew immediate fire, as Whitaker has already established himself as a highly partisan Trump loyalist.

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To help us understand what all this could mean for the Russian Federation investigation, I'm joined now by The Washington Post's Devlin Barrett, who has been breaking some very interesting news on this today. Whitaker, expected to temporarily oversee Mueller's investigation, has criticized the probe. The rally was one of many across the country in reaction to Trump's appointing Whitaker.

"A big complaint people have - Mueller was not Senate confirmed ... why didn't they get him confirmed?" the president wondered.

"I think people are fed up", she said. He wrote previous year on CNN.com that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to stop him from delving into Trump's finances. He said Democrats were concerned about what the Trump administration might do next concerning the special counsel probe: "Anyone writing even a dime store novel knows what the next couple of steps are on this".

"Have a discussion about getting this on the schedule, and let's get this wrapped up, that would be my preference", Toomey told reporters at an unrelated event in Emmaus.

Trump told reporters he has not discussed the post with Christie, who he said was "a friend of mine" and "a good man".

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