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Swalwell: Whitaker hired to 'kill' Russia probe

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) argues that President Trump's new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was brought on because of his views of the Russia investigation.

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 4:22 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 4:51 PM

The Justice Department is expected to issue an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel on Tuesday that will defend Matthew Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney general under federal law, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Almost immediately after President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker last week, various high-profile lawyers, professors and former Justice officials have weighed in on the legality of the move and more formal legal challenges are widely expected soon.

Some legal scholars -- as well as George Conway, the husband of Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway -- have said they thought Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional because he is not a Senate-confirmed official. Yet others have argued that the appointment is valid because he's only serving on a temporary basis under the Federal Vacancies Act.

OLC serves as the chief interpreter of federal law for the administration, but its conclusions are not binding on federal courts, and Tuesday's opinion is unlikely to abate the brewing controversy over Whitaker's appointment.

Top Democrats on Capitol Hill have slammed Trump's decision to appoint Whitaker as acting attorney general, skipping over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- the next Justice official in the succession line who is Senate-confirmed and was previously overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. While Rosenstein is still managing the probe on a day-to-day basis, Whitaker's critics have worried that he could take steps to curtail Mueller's work given his past fierce criticism of the probe.

Others have demanded that Whitaker recuse himself from oversight of the investigation.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told CNN Monday that Whitaker will follow all ethics rules.

"Acting AG Whitaker is fully committed to following all appropriate processes and procedures at the Department of Justice, including consulting with senior ethics officials on his oversight responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal," Kupec told CNN.

The department declined to get into specifics on whether he has initiated that review. As of last week, CNN reported that had not yet happened, and Whitaker has given no indication he believes he needs to step aside.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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Columbus
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Oxford
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A few showers linger early in the morning. But these should gradually push away from our area, leaving us mostly cloudy and cool through the midday and afternoon hours. Some clearing may occur later in the afternoon, leaving us mostly clear by Thursday morning.
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