Pressure on Justice: Jeff Sessions
By: Megan Bonney
As the excitement of the midterm elections came to a close, news broke on Wednesday, November 7th, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had resigned under the request of President Donald Trump. Former Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, will step in as the acting Attorney General until the President nominates Sessions’ successor at a later date. Whitaker’s prior experience includes serving as a legal commentator for CNN in 2017, a US attorney under the Bush administration, and as executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative watchdog group.
Sessions’ sudden firing has left Washington and many Americans wondering how it will affect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation which is set to soon conclude. Whitaker is expected to take over for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and oversee Mueller’s final report. In the past, he has been openly skeptic of the Russia investigation, leading many to fear how his predetermined judgments will direct key decisions he now has say over. By overseeing the investigation, Whitaker can decide which individuals’ criminal charges will be approved, whether or not to subpoena the president, and even determine how much of the final report can be publicly accessed. Many democrats are acknowledging Whitaker’s appointment as an effort by the President to sabotage the investigation. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calls the attempt “blatant” and urges Whitaker to remove himself from involvement due to his history of trying to undermine the investigation. The democrats are maintaining pressure on the Justice Department and are preparing for a shutdown if needed to protect documents within the investigation.
Megan Bonney is a Contributor for The Comment