Protect Mueller protests are erupting across the country

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Trump was only a few weeks into his presidency in March 2017 when Sessions upset him.

Despite calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, like Sessions did at the dawn of the Trump administration, The Washington Post reported that he has no intention of doing so. Four former Trump campaign officials - including his onetime national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign chairman Paul Manafort - are among those who have pleaded guilty. If the new leadership at the Justice Department didn't want to go along, however, that could constrain Mueller's ability to investigate as he sees fit.

It's unclear what additional charges prosecutors are pursuing and how much of it pertains to the president personally.

Whitaker has been vocal in his criticism of the Mueller inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, saying its scope was too wide and that probing the finances of the Trump family was crossing a red line. A principal officer reports directly to the president and no other, and an inferior officer reports to someone other than the president.

The relationship developed as Whitaker began accompanying Sessions to White House meetings after Whitaker joined the DOJ from the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative ethics watchdog that has filed complaints against Democratic politicians. The undated letter was then sent to the White House.

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.

Rosenstein remains at the department and could still be involved in oversight.

About 400 convened Thursday along the Riverwalk in Naperville to rally in support of the continuation of the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In a forthcoming book, the former first lady criticized Trump for his promotion of the "birther" conspiracy against her husband, and she said she'd "never forgive" him for it. Whitaker had been Sessions' chief of staff. Chris Coons, D-Del., McConnell said "it's not going to come up because it's not necessary".

"I'm not doing anything", he said.

Many Democrats and some Republicans are asking the same question.

Sessions' decision to recuse himself infuriated Trump.

On Friday morning, the Washington Post published a story headlined "Acting attorney general Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself from Russian Federation probe, associates say", and included in the lead paragraph that "people close to him ... do not believe he would approve any subpoena of President Trump as part of that investigation". A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Whitaker was "not aware of any fraudulent activity".

People from around the region gathered in front of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the Mueller investigation - image - Roger Moellendorf, NCN.

Trump's relentless attacks on Sessions came even though the Alabama Republican was the first US senator to endorse Trump and despite the fact his crime-fighting agenda and priorities, particularly his hawkish immigration enforcement policies, largely mirrored the president's.

Many gathered in Staunton Thursday on the steps of the Augusta County Courthouse, reacting to what they said is a dent in the rule of law.

Congressional Democrats have already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.

Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who has appeared with Trump at campaign events, has also been floated. In Naperville, their hastily sketched signs proclaimed messages like "Let Mueller do his job", "Defend the constitution", "Let justice be served", and "Nobody is above the law".

With Sessions resigning on Wednesday, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will be taking over the Russian Federation probe.

For about 90 minutes, he repeatedly rebuked questioning reporters for their probing questions about the negative tone of his midterm elections, including accusing one black newswoman of posing what he called a "racist question".

For Hale, concern over the Sessions ouster is not a partisan issue.

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