Thursday, 15 November, 2018


With new Justice official, fate of Russia probe in question

Could Sessions resignation be an opportunity for Kris Kobach? Trump's firing of Jeff Sessions draws question mark over fate of Russia probe
Bennie Garza | 09 November, 2018, 04:31

To dismiss a special counsel, the President has to order the attorney-general or, in the case of a recusal, the deputy attorney-general, to carry it out.

Clovis, the 2016 Trump campaign national co-chairman, said in a May radio interview that he has been interviewed by the special counsel's team and had testified before the Mueller grand jury. Whitaker did, however, believe that Sessions had no choice but to recuse himself from the matter, the person said.

He served as the U.S. attorney in the state's southern district, was elected state attorney general in 1994 and then to the Senate in 1996.

Since stepping into his new role on Wednesday, Whitaker has faced questions - principally from Democrats - about whether he should recuse from the Russian Federation investigation, given that he has written opinion pieces in the past about the investigation, and is a friend and political ally of a witness.

Whitaker's views make him a natural fit to replace Sessions, who has attempted to expand religious refusals and rollback LGBTQ legal protections throughout his tenure at the Department of Justice.

In pushing out his attorney-general, the President cast aside one of his earliest and strongest supporters.

When President Donald Trump came to the Capital City to support Kris Kobach's bid for governor, he joked with the crowd he kind of hoped the Republican nominee didn't win.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been overseeing the Mueller investigation since Sessions recused himself from the investigation a year ago due of his involvement in Trump's campaign. "I'm not recused, you're not recused", Conway told reporters.

"He took the job and then he said, "I'm going to recuse myself.' I said, 'What kind of a man is this?'" Trump said this year in a Fox News interview".

The president lambasted Sessions for recusing himself from decisions about the federal probe into Russian meddling, an inquiry the president has regularly lambasted as "fake news" and a "witch hunt".

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel. Eight guilty pleas have resulted so far, and one jury trial conviction.

"These are occurring as a way of expressing our concern about the actions President Trump took yesterday", said Ron Roe, an organizer.

Whitaker was a hard-charging top aide to Sessions, imposing on the Justice Department his personal philosophy of starting with the end in mind.

Mr Trump has at various times belittled Mr Sessions as "beleaguered", "VERY weak", and "DISGRACEFUL".

How many people will show up remains to be seen.

Sessions clashed, though, with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, resisting his proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system and standing by his hard-line approach to imprisonment and sentencing.

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