If his past is any indication, Matt Whitaker may cause trouble for Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation.
Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general on Wednesday and soon after, President Donald Trump appointed his chief of staff Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general in his place.
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
According to officials, this means that Whitaker will now oversee Mueller’s investigation and will have control over the funding of the probe.
Asked who would oversee Mueller probe now, @SarahFloresDOJ responds: “The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice."
— Mike Warren (@MichaelRWarren) November 7, 2018
Whitaker has been an outspoken critic of the investigation of the past, heavily criticizing the motives of the investigation and the way it was being handled.
2. Whitaker's tweets about Mueller pic.twitter.com/rGjZxsBE6q
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 7, 2018
During an appearance on CNN, the acting attorney general also claimed that an effective way to stop Mueller would be to cut funding for the investigation.
While it is uncertain if the probe will discover incriminating evidence against the president’s campaign, many are questioning Whitaker’s past and if it disqualifies him from overseeing the investigation.
According to former prosecutor Mimi Roach in a comment for Law & Crime, she believes that this decision is obviously trying to slow down or stop the investigations.
I agree. This is potentially as bad firing Mueller. He’s accomplishing what he wants in a more stealth way (so gives him & his allies cover). AND he has put someone in place who has oversight of all investigations not just Russia – including SDNY & EDVA investigations. https://t.co/QV21eWfyt8
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) November 7, 2018
However, Trump has been very adamant that the investigation is pointless and has called it a “witch hunt” in the past. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see how Whitaker’s new leadership will affect the status of the investigation.