After Trump named Whitaker acting attorney general, a Justice Department spokeswoman said he would oversee all matters under the department's jurisdiction, including the Russian Federation investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
"I just don't understand it because why invite this kind of criticism or scrutiny which you knew it was going to come because of the comments he's made earlier", said Gonzales.
Kreutz said the appointment of Whitaker, whom the AP called "a Republican Party loyalist", eventually could end the probe by cutting funding. That investigation is now being lead by former FBI director Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has overseen the probe's work. He added that Whitaker was a "sounding board" for him when Clovis worked for Trump's campaign. First, politically, it seems the only reason Trump wanted Sessions out was because back in 2017 he recused himself from overseeing the investigation into collusion with Russian Federation during the presidential election.
Clovis went on to work as a Trump campaign adviser and has become a witness in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He accused it of overreach.
The demonstrations were launched nationwide in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation at the request of President Donald Trump, who replaced him with Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker, who has a history of being critical of the investigation.
Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.
Trump had enjoyed Whitaker's cable TV appearances - including one on CNN in which he suggested that the Mueller probe be starved of resources - and the two men soon struck a bond.More news: Tamil Nadu law minister Shanmugam condemns Vijay's 'Sarkar'
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Several GOP officials in Iowa who have known Whitaker for a long time say they were surprised by his shift in the Trump era.
"It's very significant because Whitaker's position on indictments or future indictments may be different than Rosenstein's, and Rosenstein had given Mueller a broad mandate to pursue various crimes", said Washington criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey Jacobovitz.
Instead, he gave Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the authority to oversee the probe independently. "I don't know Matt Whitaker", Trump said. At the time, Trump also sidestepped questions about whether he was preparing to get rid of Sessions.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is said to be a candidate, along with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, among others. "A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date".
"We're protesting Trump installing a hack to obstruct Mueller's investigation".
CNN journalist Abby Phillip asks President Donald Trump a question as he speaks with reporters before departing for France on the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 9, 2018.