Meet Trump's New Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker

U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico Va 2017

"The fact that (Trump) passed over Rod Rosenstein to appoint someone else who's been critical certainly raises concerns".

In response to President Donald Trump's decision to name Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general, protest rallies are being held Thursday evening around the country along with several in Central Florida, according to a press release by Move On, a national, progressive protest group. Whitaker is Sessions' former chief of staff. The agency did not announce a departure for Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and has closely overseen his work. He looked close to tears as he was applauded by the staff on his way out of the justice department building on Wednesday night. "Trump's attempt to be his own judge and jury is inconsistent with the rule of law and democracy".

Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, who will likely become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee - which has congressional oversight over the Mueller probe - immediately responded to Sessions' resignation by demanding an explanation for the change.

On Thursday, Toomey said he knew Sessions to be "a very good man", but that the attorney general has to have the full confidence of the president.

The requirement that Whitaker notify Congress if he blocks Mueller from doing something is "about political accountability, not legal accountability", Rosenzweig said. Whitaker is poised to take over the Russian Federation investigation, a probe he has criticized in the past.

"Donald Trump may think he has the power to hire and fire whomever he pleases, but he can not take such action if it is determined that it is for the purposes of subverting the rule of law and obstructing justice", Nadler said in a statement.

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Schumer and other leading Democrats were joined in their call for an unhampered probe by Republican Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate and frequent Trump critic who won a US Senate seat in Tuesday's midterm.

"By firing Jeff Sessions and putting in place a loyalist like Matthew Whitaker, Donald Trump is trying to take over a Special Counsel investigation that has already led to multiple guilty pleas and convictions", Galland said.

Troubled that the president has crossed a "red line" toward firing special counsel Robert Mueller, more than 900 activists have planned protests on Thursday at 5 p.m. nationwide, including in Santa Barbara.

Graham said in a statement: 'I talked with the President about a permanent replacement for Attorney General. In an August 2017 op-ed for CNN, he argued that the scope should be narrowed only to direct interactions between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and not include anything pertaining to Trump's business interests or finances.

The sacking followed months of Mr Trump criticising Mr Sessions, mainly for his decision to step aside from the Russian Federation inquiry in March 2017. The latest indication of the fury came Wednesday when he forced out his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, whose recusal opened the door to Mueller's appointment.

The Justice Department has declined to answer whether ethics officials have been asked to review if Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller probe. An infuriated Trump responded by repeatedly and publicly seeking to humiliate Sessions.

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