So, who will replace Jeff Sessions? President Trump fired his now-former attorney general yesterday:
"At your request, I am submitting my resignation. Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department every day determined to do my duty and serve my country. I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice," Sessions wrote in his resignation letter. "In my time at Attorney General, we have restored and upheld the rule of law --- a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard. We have operated with integrity and have lawfully and aggressively advanced the policy agenda of the administration."
Matthew Whitaker has been named acting attorney general, but he’s been critical of the Russia probe, and top Democrats are urging him to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation in the same fashion Sessions did (via USA Today):
“I am committed to leading a fair Department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans,” Whitaker said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, a probe Trump has called a "witch hunt."
“I find the timing very suspect, No. 1," Schumer said. "But, No. 2, our paramount view is that any attorney general, whether this one or another one, should not be able to interfere with the Mueller investigation in any way."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who is likely to become head of the Judiciary Committee as Democrats gain control of the House next year, said "it would be wholly inappropriate for Mr. Whitaker to supervise the special counsel investigation given his documented history of opposition to it." Nadler said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should continue to oversee Mueller.
As Whitaker takes the reins at the DOJ for now, the candidate search for a permanent replacement is said to include former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is leaving due to term limits, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And yes, this is based on sources—nothing concrete yet. But a Giuliani confirmation hearing…that would be some good television (via CBS News):
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being considered to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, two sources familiar with the matter tell CBS News. President Trump forced Sessions out as the nation's chief law enforcement officer on Wednesday, one day after Democrats captured the House in the midterm elections.
No decisions are expected soon, and the list of those being considered — which also includes Rudy Giuliani, outgoing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and former Attorney General William Barr, who served under President George H. W. Bush — is likely to grow in the coming days, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.
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