Acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker has no intention whatsoever of recusing himself from overseeing King Bob’s OMG RUSSIA probe, according to people close to him who have been talking to Fake News reporters. Those same sources, who I believe are indeed real, added they don’t believe he would approve any subpoena of PDT as part of that investigation.
Since taking over the job on Wednesday, Whitaker has been under constant fire from Dims and other vagina-clad Americans about whether he should recuse himself from the Russia investigation, given that he has written opinion pieces about the investigation and is a friend and political ally of a grand jury witness.
Robert Mueller, whom I refer to as “King Bob” for the unchecked power he has been given by the Swamp to bring down PDT, has been negotiating for months with White House attorneys over the terms of a possible interview with PDT. Central to those discussions has been the idea that Mueller could, if negotiations failed, subpoena the president. If Whitaker were to take the threat of a subpoena off the table, that could alter the equilibrium between the two sides and significantly reduce the chances that the president ever sits for an interview.
At the Justice Department, ethics officials typically review the past work of senior leaders to see whether they have any financial or personal conflicts that would preclude them from overseeing particular cases. Those are the guys who told Keebler Jeff to recuse himself because he was associated with the Trump campaign. Sessions immediately acquiesced to their demands, paving the way for Mueller and his crew of 17 hyper partisan Dims to wreak havoc on the president’s inner circle in the first two years of his presidency, none of it having anything remotely to do with supposed “Russian collusion.”
While senior DOJ officials typically take their advice, there is no legal requirement to do so.
This evening, Dim attorneys general for 17 states and the DC wrote to Whitaker urging him to recuse himself from the Russia probe.
“As chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we ask that you recuse yourself from any role in overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” the Dim political operatives wrote. “Because a reasonable person could question your impartiality in the matter, your recusal is necessary to maintain public trust in the integrity of the investigation and to protect the essential and longstanding independence of the Department you have been chosen to lead, on an acting basis.”
Another avenue of attack being pursued by the anti-Trump coalition is the relationship Whitaker has with Republican political Sam Clovis In 2014, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Clovis, who was a candidate for Iowa state treasurer at the time. Clovis went on to work as a Trump campaign adviser and has become a witness in the investigation by Mueller.
The DOJ advises employees that “generally, an employee should seek advice from an ethics official before participating in any matter in which her impartiality could be questioned.” Regulations prohibit employees, “without written authorization, from participating in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution.”
Clovis said yesterday that Whitaker is a friend and that he texted congratulations to Whitaker after he became attorney general. The question for ethics officials, if they are asked, would be whether Clovis would be considered “substantially involved” in the conduct Mueller is investigating.
Again, it takes some serious chutzpah to even make this argument given the nature of the probe he’s overseeing. Let’s talk about Mueller himself. He was appointed partially as a result of PDT’s firing of Leakin’ James Comey and was tasked with investigating whether the firing was tantamount to obstruction of justice. COMEY AND MUELLER ARE BEST FRIENDS. HOW CAN A DEMOCRAT SAY WITH A STRAIGHT FACE THAT THE COMEY/MUELLER RELATIONSHIP IS INCONSEQUENTIAL, BUT WHITAKER MUST DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM THE PROBE IMMEDIATELY DUE TO HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CLOVIS?
It’s absurd, and I’m pleased that Whitaker has a stronger spine than his predecessor.
Whitaker will almost certainly argue that he took positions before he knew the full factual and legal circumstances of the case and therefore there is no need for recusal. It is possible ethics officials could still advise him that his commentary created the appearance of a conflict of interest but leave the decision to him. However, if they recommended forcefully that Whitaker recuse himself and he declines, he could then be referred to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which could put his law license at stake.
If history is any guide, Whitaker won’t be asked to step down due to opinions he’s given in the past. Americans do have the freedom of speech, after all. If FBI agents can be expected to perform their investigative duties impartially despite heinous comments toward the people they’re investigating, by God, Whitaker should be fine.
Is the hypocrisy getting to you yet?
The White House meanwhile, is unconcerned about Whitaker’s previous comments and have already called him to the White House for a meeting on immigration.
Now that’s great to hear. Hit the ground running, AG.
WHO IS MATTHEW WHITAKER?
Acting AG Whitaker once made a key reception in a Rose Bowl football game and ran as a conservative Republican for the U.S. Senate in Iowa. He joined the DOJ in August 2017. It was his second stint at the DOJ, where he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in June 2004 by then-President George Dubya Bush. He resigned from the DOJ in 2009 after Obama became president. I can hardly blame him, although he would’ve likely been fired anyway (it’s regular practice for presidents to replace US Attorneys).
A month before joining the DOJ for the second time, Whitaker penned an opinion piece for Fake News CNN criticizing King Bob’s Russia investigation.
It was a good piece in which he called out Mueller for overstepping his bounds. The only crime is that more people weren’t joining his chorus.
“Last month, when President Donald Trump was asked by The New York Times if special counsel Robert Mueller would be crossing a line if he started investigating the finances of Trump and his family, the President said, ‘I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia,” Whitaker, then a CNN legal commentator, wrote in the August 2016 piece.
“The President is absolutely correct. Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.”
Whitaker wrote that he found the possibility of Mueller digging into Trump’s finances as part of the Russian probe “deeply concerning to me.”
“He [Mueller] is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government,” Whitaker wrote. “People are wrongly pointing to, and taking out of context, the phrase ‘any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation’ to characterize special counsel’s authority as broad.”
He also defended Don Jr. in a Fake News CNN interview for taking the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer claiming to have damaging information about Hillary; a meeting that has all the appearances of a set-up by the FBI, DOJ or both, especially considering the Russian lawyer in question had been let into the country under the specific authorization of one AG Loretta Lynch-Whitefolks.
“Anybody would have taken that meeting,” Whitaker said in the July 2017 CNN interview.
By all accounts, Whitaker was highly critical of the Mueller probe from the moment he stepped foot in the DOJ. He, like the majority of Americans according to the latest polling, reportedly harbored frustration about the length of the special-counsel probe and doubts about the scope of Mueller’s authority. He questioned Fraud Rosenstein’s ability to give Mueller such wide latitude and wanted to explore the bounds of what Mueller was examining, though Rosenstein kept Sessions’s office “walled off” from the matter.
As former AG Sessions’ chief of staff, Whitaker was known as hard-charger, imposing on the DOJ his personal philosophy of starting with the end in mind. His style rubbed the Swamp the wrong way, and at times DOJ officials pushed back on his demands. DOJ officials said his taking over the top job from his boss was, at the very least, awkward, because chiefs of staff typically leave with the attorney general.
Not this one, Jack. We have an alpha male fighting the corrupt swamp. HALLELUJAH.
Reports state that Rosenstein and Whitaker have come to eye each other warily in recent months. When Rosenstein was nearly ousted from his post over reports that he had suggested wearing a wire around PDT to invoke the 25th amendment, Whitaker was tapped to take over Rosenstein’s position. But after a visit to the White House, Rosenstein convinced PDT to let him stay in his job, leaving people across the Justice Department — Whitaker included — mystified as to what happened.
ADD ME TO THAT LIST. FIRE THAT BUM, PDT.
While Whitaker is now Mueller’s ultimate supervisor, it’s not immediately clear whether that meanS Rosenstein will step aside. Given his intimate involvement with the probe and other things relating to PDT over the past couple years — like say, illegal surveillance — I wouldn’t look for Fraud to step aside anytime soon.
Frankly, I wish this guy could run the DOJ for the entirety of PDT’s tenure. Unfortunately, the law only gives him 7 months max. Of course, that should be plenty of time to help America rid herself of the cancer known as the Mueller probe, especially given the reports that Mueller is in the final phases of the investigation.
I’m not cheering Whitaker because I believe in partisan justice; I’m happy to see him because I believe in justice, period. No man should be allowed unchecked power in the name of taking down a political outsider who threatens the Swamp. And anyone with an intellectually honest bone in his body knows that’s the exact description of the Mueller probe.
Mueller and Rosenstein have ignored serious conflicts of interest, employed rabid partisans exclusively and gone far afield from the initial purpose of the special counsel, which was to investigate Russian collusion.
We’re now approaching two years of this monstrosity and the fact that we allow it to hang over our president’s head at a time when he’s facing down nuclear threats and other serious issues affecting our nation is an absolute disgrace.
I, for one, am sleeping much better now that I know we have an AG who will push back against what is so obviously wrong; so obviously political.
President Trump needed a pit bull who cares about right and wrong, and it appears he has one, if only for a short while.
You stay right there, Mr. Whitaker. Your country needs you.
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