A group of Senate Democrats announced Monday that they have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep Matthew Whitaker from serving as acting attorney general, citing that his appointment by President Donald Trump was unconstitutional.
“Installing Matthew Whitaker so flagrantly defies constitutional law that any viewer of Schoolhouse Rock would recognize it,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), one of the three Democrats who filed the suit, said in a statement, according to The Daily Beast.
The suit argues that Whitaker’s appointment, which came after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a tumultuous relationship with the president, is unconstitutional since the Senate did not vote to confirm him. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) also filed the suit.
President Trump is denying Senators our constitutional obligation and opportunity to do our job: scrutinizing the nomination of our nation’s top law enforcement official. The reason is simple: Whitaker would never pass the advice and consent test. In selecting a so-called “constitutional nobody” and thwarting every Senator’s constitutional duty, Trump leaves us no choice but to seek recourse through the courts.
Whitaker’s appointment sparked outrage from Democrats due to the acting attorney general’s previous comments criticizing special council Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign’s involvement.
In 2017, Whitaker argued that a “conditional crisis” would erupt if the Mueller investigated President Trump’s finances or those close to him.
“If it just turns into a fishing expedition where they are going to look at everybody and try to just do whatever they can to start charging people with crimes, that’s a legitimate constitutional crisis and inconsistent with the 4th Amendment and the very basic nature that we are free people,” Whitaker added.
Whitaker also said prior to his appointment that there was “no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” as reported by The Daily Beast.