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AG Sessions Fired

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Jeff Sessions Resigns As Attorney General; Matthew Whitaker To Be Acting : NPR

Jeff Sessions, the president's earliest and most fervent supporter in Congress, stepped down as attorney general Wednesday after brutal criticism from the president, bringing an abrupt end to his controversial tenure as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

Sessions noted in his resignation letter to the president that he was stepping down "at your request."

President Trump wrote on Twitter after a marathon press conference at the White House that Sessions was out and that Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, would serve as an acting replacement.

[...]

I think the only surprise here us that Mr. Trump didn't do this much sooner. And again, no surprise, the calls for Mr. Trump to explain himself or that Mr. Whitaker recuse himself from any role in Mr. Mueller's investigation have begun.

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I have read that there is concern by former federal prosecutors that the acting AG is not eligible because he has not been through the senate approval process.

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I have read that there is concern by former federal prosecutors that the acting AG is not eligible because he has not been through the senate approval process.

I have heard that also. I have also heard concerns that he is politically motivated and has previously spoken out about ending the Mueller investigation. Not a surprise Trump named him as acting AG.

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I have read that there is concern by former federal prosecutors that the acting AG is not eligible because he has not been through the senate approval process.

Not a legal scholar, but it appears that this is legal. Having appointed him as interim Attorney General, it appears that he could not appoint him permanently to fill the position.

[...]

Under the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act, an official named as an acting agency head must be handled in one of three ways: the "first assistant" to the office automatically becomes the acting officer; the president appoints a Senate-confirmed officer from another agency; or the president appoints a senior employee from the same agency. Officials who served as the "first assistant" to the position for 90 days in the year before it became vacant can be both acting in the position and the nominee to fill it permanently.

[...]

Supreme Court Limits Who Can Be Appointed as an Acting Agency Leader

I have heard that also. I have also heard concerns that he is politically motivated and has previously spoken out about ending the Mueller investigation. Not a surprise Trump named him as acting AG.

All cabinet level appointments are politically motivated. However, I agree that this one is concerning when you consider Mr. Whitaker's opinion that both Mr. Trump, and his family's personal income and records are a red line that shouldn't be crossed and are off limits.

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Whitaker will happily get the confidential report from Mueller and then share that information with Trump.

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Whitaker will happily get the confidential report from Mueller and then share that information with Trump.

Possibly, but aside from protecting an intelligence asset or data collection process, I doubt that much of Mr. Mueller's final report will be classified unless he's found a smoking gun that he's waiting to release. Rather, I think it likely that Mr. Whitaker will try and suppress it if it does implicate Mr. Trump, or any of his family.

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I think Trump was waiting for midterm elections to be over.

Now that he has lost control of the House, he is in real danger.

Prior to that, Republicans in the House, we're protecting his flank.

Without that protection, he had to fire Jeff Sessions.

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Trump desperately wants to know what Mueller has before it becomes public. He wants to be able to specifically discredit specific findings. Sessions couldn't leak because he didn't know. Rosenstein wouldn't leak. Now Trump has a loyalist in control.

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For a clearer picture of Mr. Whitaker, and his beliefs, read today's NY Times:

Acting Attorney General Once Declared Courts 'Inferior' And Criticized Supreme Court's Power

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Neal Katyal and George Conway (Kellyanne's husband) have an Op-Ed out on the legality of Whitaker's appointment as acting AG, and while they are both smarter than I, I have to disagree that this is clearly illegal. It clearly indirectly violates the requirements of such appointments (that they be part of the pre-approved line of succession), which is what has previously prevented presidents from doing this; that they would essentially be defining themselves as a despot rather than the leader of free republic. At this point, I don't think Trump is all that opposed to just openly admitting he's a despotic authoritarian ruler.

The op-ed is in the NYtimes which is behind a paywall, but you can get most of the article through other outlets, here's one George Conway: Whitaker acting AG appointment 'makes a mockery of our Constitution' - POLITICO

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Neal Katyal and George Conway (Kellyanne's husband) have an Op-Ed out on the legality of Whitaker's appointment as acting AG, and while they are both smarter than I, I have to disagree that this is clearly illegal. It clearly indirectly violates the requirements of such appointments (that they be part of the pre-approved line of succession), which is what has previously prevented presidents from doing this; that they would essentially be defining themselves as a despot rather than the leader of free republic. At this point, I don't think Trump is all that opposed to just openly admitting he's a despotic authoritarian ruler.

The op-ed is in the NYtimes which is behind a paywall, but you can get most of the article through other outlets, here's one George Conway: Whitaker acting AG appointment 'makes a mockery of our Constitution' - POLITICO

I just read the Op-Ed.

It is compelling reading.

Highly suggest all interested, read it.

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