Break the Glass! Get to a Protest Today!!
Trump just fired Jeff Sessions. He had Sessions write up a letter of resignation that gave Trump wiggle room to say he had resigned. He did not resign. He was fired. And Trump then skipped over Rod Rosenstein who was next in line to become the Acting AG, to appoint Matthew Whitaker.
Without a doubt he appointed Whitaker because he is a Trump loyalist. Whitaker has made a point of going on CNN as a talking head and writing op eds to get Trump’s attention letting him know he favored curtailment of the Mueller probe and saying the Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr and the Russians was a nothingburger.
Trump took notice. Whitaker was installed in the DOJ as despite having a shady background himself. Whitaker was involved in business that was investigated for shady practices. He is also connected to Sam Clovis as Clovis’s campaign chair. Clovis has been interviewed as a witness in the Mueller probe.
Whitaker looks to be the perfect guy to do Trump’s dirty work. He has been waiting in the wings to move into the temporary AG role after Session’s departure. His job will be to knee cap the Mueller investigation by limiting its scope and funding.
This is the implementation of Trump’s version of the Saturday Night Massacre (like Nixon’s with Watergate). Trump has been eager to set this plan in motion. It was delayed until after the midterms to hold off on any electoral damage that might have occurred to Republicans running for House or Senate seats. Now the midterms are over. The House has flipped. And Trump is running scared. That’s why he “killed off” Sessions and installed his hit man loyalist Whitaker the next day.
There are serious questions about the legitimacy of this installation. Whitaker has not been approved by the Senate and that has been raised by a number of conservative Constitutional scholars as unconstitutional. Even Judge Napolitano who is regularly on Fox News has said this appointment is unconstitutional because Whitaker is not Senate approved. Neal Kaytal and George Conway, Kelly Ann Conway’s husband who is a conservative who has been oppositional to Trumpism at times wrote an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times stating that the appointment of Whitaker is illegitimate. There is growing opposition to the appointment of Whitaker.
Whitaker is there to take down the Mueller investigation. Word has it that Whitaker has been the White House’s eyes and ears in the DOJ for some time. Word also has it that unlike Sessions he has promised Trump he will not recuse himself from overseeing the investigation. And his appointment is supposed to be temporary- limited to 210 days. But he could do a lot of damage to the probe in that short period of time. However, if he does, he could be in hot water.
Matthew Whitaker could face indictment and jail if he aids in an obstruction of justice. He will only face that if he does in fact obstruct justice. Starting in January, the House Intelligence Committee headed by Adam Schiff will be able to request that Mueller appear from time to time to update the committee about whether there has been any obstruction of the investigation by Whitaker. If so, Matthew Whitaker could be in big trouble. The House will be overseeing Whitaker in other words.
If Matthew Whitaker is smart, knowing what Trump is going to be demanding of him, he would recuse himself right now before the shit hits the fan. Whitaker is going to be put in the middle with Trump demanding loyalty and demanding he leak confidential information to him about the developments in the investigation. Whitaker could ruin his reputation and lose his law license if he plays the role Trump will surely demand of him.
Meanwhile, what can we do about this?
There will be marches all across the country today led by Move On and Indivisible. They are at 5 pm but check your local group. About 900 are scheduled. Join one and let our elected officials know we will not stand for this. No one is above the law including the president.
Trump is not above the law!