Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is “unquestionably” authorized to lead the Department of Justice, according to the DOJ.
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<i>The Justice Department lauded Whitaker's senior executive status, saying that it “unquestionably” authorized him to serve even without a prior Senate confirmation<i>
Matthew Whitaker served as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions Chief of Staff before his role as Acting Attorney General, and he's poised to take over the helm of the DOJ with the full support of the government agency, as reported BY <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/11/14/matthew-whitaker-authorized-department-justice-acting-attorney-general/1997460002/"> USA Today</a>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are demanding that Mr. Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia investigation. We’ve heard that Mr. Whitaker is meeting with DOJ ethics officials this week, and we expect that Congress will be notified about the results of those discussions. <a href="https://t.co/iLhTuTIpYB">pic.twitter.com/iLhTuTIpYB</a></p>— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) <a href="https://twitter.com/SenSchumer/status/1062475560721383427?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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This is to be seen as a huge victory for the President, who appointed Whitaker knowing he's previously stated that possible means of <i>strangling the Robert Mueller investigation</i> are possible by reducing his budget.
The 20-page letter issued by Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that on provisions of the Vacancies Reform Act Whitaker is fit to serve.
The Vacancies Reform Act states that as long as Matthew Whitaker served 90 days before his appointment as Chief of Staff, a senior position, he's eligible to head the DOJ.
Democrats are expected to monumentally lose their minds over the decision, which is nothing new to President Trump.
Former Republican Attorney Generals Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, <i>well-known neoconservative pawns</i>, had publicly questioned the appointment of Whitaker due to his lack of Senate approval.
As the DOJ plainly stated, the internal provision for succession “does not displace the president’s authority to use the Vacancies Reform Act as an alternative.”
<blockquote>“Although an attorney general is a principal officer requiring Senate confirmation, someone who temporarily performs his duties is not,” the opinion stated. “As all three branches of government have long recognized, the president may designate an acting official to perform the duties of a vacant principal office, including a Cabinet office, even when the acting official has not been confirmed by the Senate.”</blockquote>
Arguing that the Presidential authority to make such designations dates to the early years of the government, the DOJ roared in applause or Whitaker.
The DOJ went on to cite 160 appointments before 1860 in which “non-Senate-confirmed persons performed, on a temporary basis,” the duties of secretaries of state, treasury, war, Navy, interior and postmaster general.
“Mr. Whitaker’s designation is no more constitutionally problematic than countless similar presidential orders dating back over 200 years,” the opinion stated.
"Doesn't that mean that, in theory, the president under your interpretation could fire anyone he wants and … just make anyone a Cabinet official?" a reporter asked the Justice Department official.
"I don't want to address hypotheticals," the official responded, "[but] it is correct that if the president terminates officials, that official is unavailable under the Vacancies Reform Act."
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A lawsuit filed in Maryland federal courts has since tried to stop the appointment of Whitaker, saying the following:
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Despite this, with the blessing of the Department of Justice, President Trump now has an officially established Acting Attorney General who wishes to stop Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel.
The witch hunt continues, for now, but we will certainly be watching the above story for more information as it's provided.
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