In a bombshell announcement on Wednesday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation, and was replaced temporarily by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, his Sessions’ former chief of staff.
The Department of Justice confirmed that Whitaker would be taking over the ongoing Mueller investigation into allegations of Russian collusion against President Trump’s campaign, replacing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein, who has overseen Mueller’s probe since Sessions recused himself from the investigation, has faced frequent criticism from Republicans and the president’s supporters for allowing the probe, which has faced accusations of political bias, continue.
Unlike his predecessor, Whitaker has publicly stated that “Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far,” and said the Special Counsel’s tactics were “deeply concerning.”
Whitaker additionally said that Mueller’s repeated investigation into Trump’s finances raised “serious concerns that [Mueller’s] investigation was a mere witch hunt.”
In response to Whitaker’s appointment, Democrats including Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi bemoaned the decision, and demanded Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia investigation, as well.