Congressional Democrats have already demanded emergency hearings in the US House of Representatives to investigate President Donald Trump's ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling the move an effort to undermine a federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
The investigation is looking into United States allegations of Russian meddling in the election two years ago and any possible co-ordination between Russian and the Trump campaign, which the president denies. He recused himself from overseeing the Justice Department investigation in March 2017, after revelations that he had failed to report encounters with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak of Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.
How could Whitaker impede Mueller without firing him?
That duty has belonged to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and closely monitors his work.
Gonzales, who was the attorney general in George W. Bush's administration from 2005 to 2007, said he doesn't know Whitaker, his qualifications or motivations, but there's a lot that calls into question his appointment.
Mueller declined to comment, according to his spokesman, Peter Carr.
But the Justice Department told CBS News on Wednesday that Whitaker will now oversee the probe. He added that it had "been a privilege" to work under Sessions.
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Sessions offered his resignation letter the day after the 2018 midterms at the president's request. Rosenstein has said that he sees no justification to dismiss Mueller.
Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general for the time being, with a permanent replacement to come later. Previously he was a conservative legal commentator who was critical of the scope of Mueller's probe.
Both Whitaker and Clovis are rooted in Iowa politics, and both ran for the 2014 Republican Senate nomination. Mueller's team also has been pressing for an interview with Trump. It's not clear whether his connections to Sam Clovis, who if friends with Whitaker and has been questioned in the Mueller probe, and with the president would be enough to force his recusal.
But Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley praised Whitaker.
"I'm profoundly concerned about it", he said.
Soon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation Wednesday, prognosticators began wondering about the soon-to-be unemployed Kobach may end up as the nation's top law enforcement officer.
In pushing out his attorney-general, the President cast aside one of his earliest and strongest supporters. In addition to Trump Jr, targets could include former campaign consultant Roger Stone.
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said afterwards: "The boys are very disappointed, I'm very disappointed and we have to do better". At half-time we walked a long way to the dressing room and they were all in a very positive mood.
Donald Trump with Mr Sessions in December previous year.
Can Whitaker be forced to recuse himself?
That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.
Trump's running commentary criticizing Sessions and the Justice Department injected more turmoil into an agency that was still reeling from the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
In addition to Sessions' ouster, Democrats are also interested in looking into Mr. Trump's tax returns, and global business dealings.
Sessions, 71, has a long political history in Alabama.
Sessions clashed, though, with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, resisting his proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system and standing by his hard-line approach to imprisonment and sentencing.
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