U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned as the country's chief law enforcement officer at the request of President Donald Trump, throwing the future of the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation into uncertainty.
Mueller, who had reported to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, now reports to the interim attorney general. Mitt Romney, who just won election to the U.S. Senate from Utah, also tweeted that the Mueller probe should be allowed to proceed "to its conclusion unimpeded".
Democrats also raised concerns about the appointment of Whitaker, 49, who will now oversee Mueller's probe.
Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, 71, who had been one of the first members of Congress to back his presidential campaign in 2015.
He managed a Senate campaign for Sam Clovis in Iowa, who later was nominated to join the Trump administration, ran Iowa for Trump, and was interviewed by Mueller's investigators.
Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and has overseen his probe from the beginning will stay in his post, according to the official. "I'd like to know the truth", said Pat Noga, an Emmaus resident.
Democrats poised to take charge of House committees come January are signaling that they want to investigate the replacing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.
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In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.
It could, but this would spark a constitutional crisis and is unlikely to happen.
President Donald Trump listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT also criticized Whitaker's appointment. The "independent DOJ" theme is meant to weaken President Trump and succeeding Republican presidents, and Mueller's Switch Project represents an institutionalization of Barack Obama's Department of Justice, in permanent opposition to the president whom the American people elected.
To Mr Trump's great anger, on March 2, 2017, Mr Sessions recused himself from involvement in and oversight of the nascent Russia collusion investigation because of his own Russian contacts during the 2016 campaign. At this point, the investigation has lasted almost a year and a half.
You reported today that that doesn't seem likely, that recusal.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called it a "blatant attempt" to undermine the Russian Federation probe, while Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that "clearly, the president has something to hide".
"Sessions did not do the thing he could have done to better protect Rosenstein, and through Rosenstein, the Mueller investigation", Vladeck said.