"Well, the very first thing, obviously, is to protect the Mueller investigation".
Protesters converged downtown Thursday evening chanting "not above the law" as their battle cry against President Donald Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting US attorney general. "This is serious business and our democracy is truly on the line".
The group also held flashlights, the said it was to shine a light on President Trump's corruption.
With the pushback from top Democrats, numerous Republican lawmakers have come to Whitaker's defense. Sen.
Trump said Friday he had not spoken with Whitaker about Mueller's investigation, which until now has been overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Such a dramatic step is sure to trigger a fight between Congress and the executive branch about access to what Mueller has so far found, he said.
During a 2014 debate as an Iowa senate candidate, Whitaker argued that judicial nominees should "have a biblical view of justice", whereas "if they have a secular worldview, where this is all we have here on Earth, then I'm going to be very concerned about that judge".
The letter asked Lofthus to explain his reasoning for any recommendation he made to Whitaker regarding recusal and to provide all ethics guidance provided to the acting attorney general. A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Whitaker was "not aware of any fraudulent activity".
"The president has said he has not discussed the Mueller investigation with Whitaker", she continued.
Trump has replaced Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who was serving as the president's chief of staff. If you don't think Mueller expected a move like this from Trump post-midterms, you don't know Robert Mueller.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, described Trump's appointment of Whitaker as "an attack" on the Mueller investigation and said protecting that probe will be his committee's top priority.
"Matt Whitaker is a great guy".
As the person in charge of the investigation, Whitaker will also have final say on whether or not to make Mueller's report public. Protestors anxious Whitaker would use his new position to stifle the investigation before its conclusion. She might know him better than me. Whitaker, unlike Sessions, has not recused himself from the investigation.
Trump said, "No matter who I put in, they go after him ... And I think it's important for the president to have this information out there fully, transparently, and accurately".
Mueller recently asked Trump's legal team to provide visitor and call logs regarding Stone's contact with Trump Tower. Whitaker felt Mueller would focus on his job, regardless.