Don't touch Russian Federation investigation, Mitt Romney tells Trump

Whitaker, a former USA attorney from Iowa who twice ran unsuccessfully for statewide office and founded a law firm with other Republican Party activists, once opined about a scenario in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller's probe.

Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Judiciary and Armed Services committees, said Whitaker "is someone who provided a road map for how to stifle and strangle the special counsel investigation".

Whitaker, in a Justice Department statement released on Wednesday evening said, "I am committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans". On Thursday morning, New York Congressman Jerry Nadler-who will come January chair the House Judiciary Committee-described the situation as a "constitutionally perilous moment for our country", and promised consequences if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were to be taken off the investigation. He did not mention that White House chief of staff John Kelly had called Sessions beforehand to ask for his resignation. Trump is also mulling Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is on her way out of office, as well as Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Attorney General William Barr, who served in President George H.W. Bush's administration. He also obtained indictments against Russian individuals and companies accused of a sweeping conspiracy to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately to help Trump win.

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel. Kobach, who has built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration laws, advised Trump's campaign and the White House on homeland security issues and has made enacting state policies against illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign for governor.

Yet when Sessions got the boot on Wednesday ― his letter said he resigned at the president's request ― Graham offered a different message.


Congressional Democrats have already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.

Here is a look at how Whitaker might stop or slow the Mueller investigation and the risks he might run in doing so.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017, following a closed door meeting in Washington. And he's one step closer to being able to do just that.

Donald Trump emerged from midterm elections promising cooperation only to plunge Washington into turmoil Thursday over suspicions that he's trying to kill the Russian Federation collusion probe and an extraordinary intensification of his war with journalists. Days after ousting Comey, Trump said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he chose to dismiss him.

How many people will show up remains to be seen.

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