Senate leader: Trump likely to nominate new AG

Senate leader: Trump likely to nominate new AG

Senate leader: Trump likely to nominate new AG

The protests late on November 8 came as Democrats in Congress sought emergency hearings into Trump's ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump had criticized for recusing himself and refusing to interfere with Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian efforts to influence the election.

Even after he arrived at the Justice Department, Whitaker harbored frustration about the length of the special counsel probe and doubts about the scope of Mueller's authority, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump said on Friday, as he was departing Washington for a trip to Paris, that he had not discussed the Mueller probe with Whitaker before appointing him, and it was up to Whitaker whether he wanted to be involved with the investigation.

That opened the way for the new acting attorney-general, Matthew Whitaker, to assume direct supervision of Mueller, raising questions of whether he will halt the investigation to protect the president.

Last month, Trump said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" show that Whitaker "is a great guy" and said that he knew him but declined to talk about any conversations he had had with him about taking on the role.

Trump dismissed concern that Whitaker had not been confirmed by the Senate by noting Mueller had not been confirmed either. "I think the president understands that it's best for Bob Mueller to finish his investigation".

Protesters call for protection of Russian Federation probe after Sessions resigns
Nadler says he wants to know why Trump is making the change and "who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller's investigation?" What's more, as a CNN contributor and at other times, he has trashed the Mueller investigation that he will now be overseeing.

US media reported that Trump had asked White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to ask Sessions to resign, prompting Sessions to submit the letter.

Whitaker has his supporters too, including a USA senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst.

Whitaker himself meanwhile offered little clue about his intentions in a bland statement to reporters thanking Trump for his appointment, praising his former boss as a "dedicated public servant" and adding he would work to leading a department that conformed to the "highest ethical standards".

Speaking to reporters Friday, Trump said, "I don't know Matt Whitaker".

"A big complaint people have - Mueller was not Senate confirmed ... why didn't they get him confirmed?" the president wondered. MoveOn quickly responded by organizing demonstrations to voice its disapproval of Whitaker as the attorney general. In many instances, that office does not require a Justice Department official to recuse, but suggests a course of action. Serving as a special counsel does not require Senate confirmation by statute.

Protestor Gayle Gingrich said she feels more hopeful after Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

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