Evangelical Christian former chief of staff Matt Whitaker can do things now-resigned Jeff Sessions couldn’t (besides football).
UPDATE: CNN is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been summoned to the White House. The Justice Department says the meeting was “pre-planned.” One America News reporter Emerald Robinson, however, is reporting that sources have told her Rosenstein will resign as well “within next 48 hours.”
President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that Jeff Sessions has tendered his resignation, adding that he has appointed the attorney general’s chief of staff to serve in an interim capacity.
The news of Sessions’ resignation was not unexpected. During a press conference in the East Room of the White House, reporters specifically asked the president if he could provide an update on which administration members would soon be departing.
Although the attorney general’s name was not brought up, he was referred to indirectly, both by the president and the reporters who asked their questions about it. Speculation, however, ended when the president tweeted this afternoon:
“We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our country well.
This announcement is significant for two reasons:
- The president did not allow the normal chain of succession to take place, skipping over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has been mired by controversy over both his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russia Narrative” investigation and his reported efforts to secretly record the president and have him removed from office via the 25th Amendment.
- Whitaker, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, is not bound by any recusal from matters related to Mueller’s investigation, and could potentially take the reins of oversight in that probe immediately.
That the president said he will announce a permanent replacement for Sessions “at a later date” suggests perhaps Whitaker is getting a trial run at the job he’s long been rumored to be getting. The 2014 Republican candidate for the Senate in his home state of Iowa is an evangelical Christian who has assisted with religious liberty cases as a private practice attorney associated with First Liberty Institute, and served as executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust.
Full article: This is Your New (Acting) Attorney General (TruNews)