Trump’s choice to be interim attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, believes that the Mueller investigation has gone too far and should not be investigating Trump or his family’s finances.
Whitaker wrote on CNN in August of 2017:
This information is deeply concerning to me. It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.
In fact, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter appointing special counsel Robert Mueller does not give Mueller broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation. He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government. People are wrongly pointing to, and taking out of context, the phrase “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” to characterize special counsel’s authority as broad.
Trump Can’t Fire Mueller, So He’s Going To Handcuff Him
The firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been expected from the moment that Sessions recused himself from the Mueller investigation. It is going to be nearly impossible for Trump to fire Mueller without triggering an impeachment investigation, so Trump is doing the next best thing. He is putting someone in place to oversee the investigation who will limit what Robert Mueller can investigate and the resources and power that the investigation will have.
This is Trump’s big move to try to buy himself some time before Democrats take back the House and the real investigations begin. It has long been thought that Mueller would be issuing his report before the end of the year, so Trump has taken steps to put someone in charge who may prevent the report from being released to Congress and the public.
The firing of Jeff Sessions was all about Robert Mueller. Now, it is up to the American people to reply.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook.