In breaking news Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned as Attorney General at the request of Trump.
For a long time he has refused to act against Robert Mueller even though Trump wants him to.
The Atlantic provided this background:
“DISGRACEFUL.” “Weak.” “Beleaguered.” President Donald Trump has been unsparing in publicly castigating his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in the year since Sessions recused himself from the investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Privately, Trump has berated Sessions, reportedly calling him an “idiot” and saying that hiring him was a mistake. He asked Sessions to resign following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment to lead the probe, according to The New York Times, but then wouldn’t accept his resignation. And he has been weighing firing Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in recent days, rather than the man who, in Trump’s eyes, empowered them.
The president has fired or forced out upwards of 20 cabinet officials and top aides, so why does the man he has most-often criticized still have a job? And what would happen if he were fired, which Trump has reportedly been mullingthis week? Legal experts and political strategists who have either worked directly with the president or observed his behavior from afar attribute Trump’s reluctance to fire Sessions to two major considerations: Fears in the White House that the move would cost the president support among GOP voters and members of Congress, who generally like and support Sessions, and the risk of provoking further allegations of obstruction of justice—both of which could deepen the challenges already facing the administration.
Well it has happened.
And the new appointee is someone who thought that Mueller’s investigation was going too far.
From the Guardian:
Last year, the new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, wrote a CNN opinion piece arguing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump “is going too far.”
“Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing,” Whitaker wrote in the August 2017 piece.
This information is deeply concerning to me. It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.
In fact, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter appointing special counsel Robert Mueller does not give Mueller broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation. He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government. People are wrongly pointing to, and taking out of context, the phrase “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” to characterize special counsel’s authority as broad.
The word “investigation” is clearly defined directly preceding it in the same sentence specifically as coordination between individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump and Russia. The Trump Organization’s business dealings are plainly not within the scope of the investigation, nor should they be.
With talk about sealed indictments floating around this could be a very interesting time …