Could Trump sink the Russia collusion probe?

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President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Matthew Whitaker would be appointed acting USA attorney general after Jeff Sessions resigned from the position just a day after the midterm elections.

New Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, whose appointment means he will supervise special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has a personal tie to one of the witnesses in the probe: Whitaker was the campaign chairman for Sam Clovis in 2014 when Clovis ran for state treasurer in Iowa.

"Clearly, the President has something to hide", Schumer wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, later adding: "Mr Whitaker should recuse himself from (the probe's) oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general".

Prior to joining the Justice Department as Sessions' chief of staff, Whitaker founded a conservative judicial watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust, that called for investigations into Hillary Clinton, former Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Florida, and into accusations that the Democratic National Committee was working with the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

The Justice Department has declined to answer whether ethics officials have been asked to review if Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller probe.

Rosenstein no longer will oversee the special counsel investigation.

A website set up by MoveOn.org Political Action says Trump "crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation" Wednesday, when Sessions handed in his letter of resignation, reportedly at Trump's urging.

The Democrats said they also want the Justice Department to protect the integrity of Mueller's investigation and to preserve relevant documents.

Whitaker likely could not block the new indictments, which could include Trump's son Donald Jr.

In D.C., hundreds of people gathered in front of the White House to protest Whitaker's appointment and defend the Mueller probe.

He also said on CNN past year that he could see a scenario in which Sessions' replacement doesn't fire Mueller but "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Whitaker can serve 210 days without Senate confirmation before the president nominates a permanent attorney general.

Sessions, a 71-year-old former Republican senator from Alabama, was the first senator to endorse Trump's insurgent presidential campaign. "I just know what I've read and that he was critical in the past of the special counsel's investigations, which obviously raises concerns", King said.

Rosenstein had been overseeing the Russian Federation investigation after Sessions recused himself.

He is believed poised to release new indictments of Trump associates related to Russian Federation collusion, and to have almost completed his probe of alleged obstruction of justice by Trump.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been overseeing the Mueller investigation since Sessions recused himself from the investigation a year ago due of his involvement in Trump's campaign.

"Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller's investigation?"

Whitaker then turned to the Justice Department's marijuana policy under Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder. Another person said that remained true ever after Whitaker took his place.

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