Blumenthal sues to block Trump’s acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker

Blumenthal sues to block Trump’s acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker

Blumenthal sues to block Trump’s acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii filed the suit in US District Court on Monday, represented by the public interest groups Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center.

Under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, ambassadors, federal judges, and other "Officers of the United States" who are nominated by the president must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate under the body's so-called advise and consent powers.

Whitaker's appointment also faces a lawsuit filed by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, D, as well as a Supreme Court filing by lawyer Thomas C. Goldstein. It also cited an 1898 Supreme Court opinion and numerous historical examples in support of the proposition that an office whose holder must normally be Senate-confirmed can be temporarily filled by an acting official who has not gone through the confirmation process.

"The US Senate has not consented to Mr Whitaker serving in any office within the federal government, let alone the highest office of the DOJ", they told the federal court in Washington.

Whitaker will be able to exercise all the powers of the attorney general for as many as 210 days and potentially many more, the senators wrote, and that unlawfully denies legislators their right to cast an effective vote and robs them of their core powers and responsibilities. Trump's name-calling was likely spurred by an interview earlier that morning with Rep. Schiff on ABC News' This Week, one in which Schiff promised House Democrats would investigate Whitaker's appointment once Democrats took control of the House in January. The Senators' complaint asks the Court to declare Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional and to enjoin him from serving as, or carrying out the duties of, Acting Attorney General.

"The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice-a lackey whose stated objective, apparently, is undermining a major investigation into the president", declared Sen.

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On November 7, President Trump appointed Whitaker to oversee the Department of Justice - including the Special Counsel's investigation - in violation of the Constitution's Appointments Clause.

Whitaker, who was chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was promoted to the department's top job after his boss was sacked by President Trump on November 7.

"There are over 160 instances in American history in which non-Senate confirmed persons performed, on a temporary basis, the duties of a Senate-confirmed position", Kupec said.

Miller is fighting a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. "He's going to do what's right", the president said.

Asked by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace whether he would overrule Whitaker if he decides to curtail the Mueller investigation, Trump replied, "I would not get involved".

"President Trump's brazen attempt to flout the law and constitution in bypassing Deputy US Attorney General Rosenstein in favor of a partisan and unqualified staffer can not stand", Maryland state Attorney General Brian Frosh said.

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