Protests to protect Robert Mueller planned nationwide after Jeff Sessions firing

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Says Resigning At Trump's Request

Whitaker is expected to take over oversight of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump campaign associates colluded with Russia.

Newly emboldened Democrats have said any attempt to terminate Mr Mueller's investigation would amount to a constitutional crisis.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing a probe in March 2017, shortly after taking office. Despite their House victory, Democrats still appear divided and Trump seems intent on driving a wedge in their ranks, repeatedly expressing his support for veteran Nancy Pelosi, 78, as the Speaker, even though the younger and more radical wing of the party want a younger, fresher face.

If Whitaker chose to fire Mueller, he would need to inform the special counsel in writing of the specific reason for his termination. Senator Susan Collins and Mitt Romney said it should not be impeded in any way.

Prosecutors are also waiting for Mr. Trump's legal team to return answers to Mr. Mueller's questions, CNN said.

And so, when Robert Mueller, the special counsel, was later appointed to lead the Russian Federation probe, oversight of that investigation fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It's a job he knows well given that Whitaker has spent the past year as Sessions' chief of staff. The moment the Democrats clinched the required 23 seats to retake the lower chamber; they were readying the various probes into this presidency-and the left wing harassment of this administration is about to begin. Last month, he claimed Trump jokingly asked if he wanted it.

Christie and Trump ran against each other in the 2016 election. He once opined about a situation in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller's probe.

"Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation", he wrote in an undated letter.

After that campaign, Whitaker helped start and served for three years as executive director for the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a self-described "ethics watchdog" that often targets Democratic officials and groups with misconduct investigations and complaints.

Troubled that the president has crossed a "red line" toward firing special counsel Robert Mueller, more than 900 activists have planned protests on Thursday at 5 p.m. nationwide, including in Santa Barbara.

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David Bosel, a retired political scientist, described Trump's attempts to scupper the Mueller investigation as "dictatorial" and accused most Republicans in Congress of helping Trump tilt the U.S. towards "fascism".

That duty has belonged to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and closely monitors his work.

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.

Answering allegations that the White House had used a clip edited by a notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "We stand by our statement".

There had already been hints that Robert Mueller's pre-election "quiet period" was about to come to an end.

Whitaker, a former USA attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, had served as Sessions's chief of staff since September 2017.

Those would be half-measures and insurance policies to limit damage. Or by people who have nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation, said Ohlin.

There's some doubt about whether the president is right, but with the mid-terms behind him he could be itching to settle this Mueller business once and for all.

That nearly certainly wouldn't be the end of this story, but it's the beginning of a new, fraught chapter.

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