Whitaker appointment brings praise and protest in Iowa

Several hundred demonstrators, some carrying signs of "Trump is not above the law" and "You can't fire the truth", gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 8, 2018.

Trump also said that although "I like" former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he hasn't spoken to him about being a candidate to replace Sessions.

Whitaker has questioned Mueller's authority to investigate aspects of Trump's election campaign and suggested how to end the investigation: by cutting its budget.

Trump then appointed an acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, who was Sessions' chief of staff. "He worked for Attorney General Sessions".

West Wing sources said they are "worried" about Trump Jr as they fear Mueller will be able to snare him on perjury.

Trump's nomination of a permanent replacement for Sessions will require confirmation by the US Senate, which remains in Republican control following Tuesday's midterm elections.

The rushed appointment "is unconstitutional". 'It's illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.

In cities nationwide protestors took to the streets urging Congress to protect Mueller's probe. "He said it should be shut down". A dense web of regulations and professional guidelines govern how Justice Department lawyers are supposed to handle potential conflicts of interest.

The other side not expressed by protesters is the stance of Trump and some of his supporters.

Boone said the protestors want to see the Mueller probe protected, and its final conclusions released to the public.

The row, carried live on national TV networks, was followed by Trump issuing angry put-downs to several other reporters.

"We are watching what appears to be continued obstruction by this White House", Pocan said in a telephone interview. During a 2014 debate in Iowa when he ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. senate, Whitaker reportedly said he'd like to see federal judicial nominees be "people of faith" with a "biblical view of justice".

Sessions in his resignation letter on Wednesday said he had resigned "at the request" of Trump.

During a brief stint previous year as a conservative legal commentator on CNN, Whitaker often appeared as a Trump defender, saying he saw no evidence the president colluded with Russians during the 2016 campaign or obstructed justice. "Sessions allowed the Department of Justice to function as the political arm of the Trump administration to undo fundamental rights that protect each of us, disregarding years of legal precedent and settled law". She said the group's activism is wider than serving as a foil for the GOP and Trump.

Trump responded by repeatedly seeking to publicly humiliate Sessions. Minority leader Chuck Schumer went as far as to call for Whitaker to recuse himself.

In the past, he has shown distinct skepticism about the probe, calling for its scope to be curtailed. But Trump has long sought greater visibility into the probe.

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.

But Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, said he thought such a lawsuit would be unlikely to succeed because the US Supreme Court has said the president has wide latitude to fire executive branch officials.

Vanessa Coleman

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