Tonight We March
Published November 8, 2018 / Updated August 6, 2020

Tonight We March

Whitaker must recuse himself from the Russia investigation

by Chris Thomas

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“crowd of people holding placards” by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Yesterday, President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The White House calls the dismissal a “resignation” because, had Sessions been fired, Rod Rosenstein — the current Deputy Attorney General — would have become the Acting Attorney General.

Sessions resigned “at [President Trump’s] request” which sounds suspiciously like a firing, but the White House is insisting on using the word “resigned” because it allows Trump to appoint a new acting attorney general: Matthew Whitaker.

Whitaker has had an openly hostile opinion of the Mueller investigation for some time. In fact, Whitaker wrote an OpEd for CNN back in August of 2017 in which he took a very dim view of the Mueller investigation, asserting that Mueller’s appointment “does not give [him] broad, far reaching powers in this investigation” and calling on Mueller “to limit the scope of his investigation” specifically to exclude an investigation of President Trump’s financial dealings.

It’s worth noting here that Mueller’s appointment specifically charges him to “conduct the investigation… including: any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and… any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” [Emphasis added]

Undeterred by the broad language of the appointment, however, Whitaker laid out a plan to kill the investigation in a CNN segment last summer. Whitaker suggested that a recess-appointed Attorney General could starve the Mueller investigation of funds, thereby effectively ending it without needing to actually fire Mueller.

Today, Matthew Whitaker was appointed to the post of Attorney General in a recess appointment.

The threat to the investigation could not be clearer. Session’s dismissal was orchestrated by Trump. Whitaker’s hostility to the investigation is open and on the record. Trump has been repeatedly critical of Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and, with Democrats preparing to take the levers of power in the House come January, the window in which Trump can act is closing fast.

This is Trump’s Saturday Night Massacre

It’s been an exhausting week — both physically and emotionally. Millions of Americans are worn thin from days canvassing, nights phone banking, and a nail-biter of an election.

But we’re not done yet.

Once more unto the breach dear friends

It’s time to march and defend our democracy. No one, not even the President, is above the law. Send RALLY to locate the protest nearest you and RSVP. Send RESIST to tell Congress that it’s time for them to step up and protect the Mueller investigation. Remember, your new Congress isn’t sworn in until January. You can find Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or on Twitter via direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RALLY or RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to defend democracy.

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