Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker, the anti-gay acting attorney general who believes in a biblical view of justice and has criticized the Mueller investigation, is unconstitutional.
Said Kirsten Gillibrand to Colbert: “Because he’s such a senior position, you need advice and consent of the Senate…There was a succession plan. It should have been Rosenstein. They not only disregarded that, but then put someone in place who has not had hearings and approval by the Senate…He should recuse himself [from the Mueller probe]…He’s a lackey of the president.”
Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself, the Washington Post reports: “On Thursday, two people close to Whitaker said he does not plan to take himself off the Russia case. They also said he is deeply skeptical of any effort to force the president’s testimony through a subpoena.”
And the NYT agrees that Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional: ‘A principal officer must be confirmed by the Senate. And that has a very significant consequence today. It means that Mr. Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid. Much of the commentary about Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has focused on all sorts of technical points about the Vacancies Reform Act and Justice Department succession statutes. But the flaw in the appointment of Mr. Whitaker, who was Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, runs much deeper. It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.’
Some of Whitakers views: “Matthew Whitaker, now acting attorney general after the president fired Jeff Sessions, said of prospective federal judges, ‘are they people of faith? Do they have a biblical view of justice? Which I think is very important.’ Whitaker made the remarks at a conservative forum in April 2014, where he appeared as a candidate for the Republican US Senate nomination in Iowa.”
And this: “In 2007, Matt McCoy was a rising star in the Democratic Party, Iowa’s first openly gay senator and a leading champion for the party’s causes. But then, his allies say, McCoy’s promising career was stalled by a politically motivated federal prosecution brought by a Republican U.S. attorney, Matthew G. Whitaker, who on Wednesday became the nation’s top law enforcement official after President Donald Trump named him acting attorney general.”