Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Democratic senators sue over Trump's attorney general appointment

Democratic senators sue over Trump's attorney general appointment

The attorney, Thomas Goldstein, asked the high court to find that Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional and replace him with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Denouncing President Donald Trump's appointment of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker-a fervent critic of the Russian Federation probe-as a blatant effort to "subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability", three Democratic senators on Monday filed suit against the White House and demanded that Whitaker be barred from temporarily serving as the nation's top law enforcement official.

Many analysts believe Whitaker was chosen to protect Trump from the Russian Federation collusion investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who will now be under Whitaker's control.

The Justice Department, for the second time in recent days, defended Whitaker's appointment as legal.

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Whitaker was appointed after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ouster.

The attorney general of Maryland last week brought a similar legal challenge, saying Trump violated the so-called Appointments Clause of the US Constitution because the job of attorney general is a "principal officer" who must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

To the extent that Miller seeks to raise any new issues based on the designation of Acting Attorney General Whitaker, this appeal is not the proper proceeding in which to do so. Whitaker, who has been critical of the Russian Federation investigation, is now overseeing it.

"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", a justice department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said. In 2014, he led the unsuccessful campaign of Sam Clovis, Trump's 2016 campaign co-chairman, for Iowa state treasurer; Clovis is now a grand jury witness in the Mueller probe. "He's going to do what's right", the president said.

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The case, originally captioned Michaels v. Sessions, is a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on gun possession by convicted felons.

They said that his questionable appointment could destabilize any federal court case in the country, and said Rosenstein instead should represent the department.

"This is the extraordinary case in which the identity of the successor is both contested and has important implications for the administration of justice nationally", they wrote.

In Miller's own response to the Whitaker question, also just filed, his legal defense team agrees that nothing in his case changes with Sessions' departure and Whitaker's appointment. It asked a federal judge in Maryland to substitute Rosenstein for Sessions in the state's pending suit seeking to uphold key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

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'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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