Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calls for probe into acting attorney general
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has led a call from the Democrats to launch an investigation into Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for his so-called “ties” to President Donald Trump.
In a Tuesday letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz, Schumer called for a probe citing “concerns” about Whitaker sharing information with the White House.
“I am particularly concerned about whether Mr. Whitaker may have shared with the White House, or could share in his new role, confidential grand jury or investigative information from the Special Counsel investigation or any criminal investigation,” Schumer stated in the letter addressed to Horowitz.
Schumer suggested that Whitaker and the president may be conspiring to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller Russia investigation, adding that such activity would be considered “criminal contempt of court” and “obstruction of justice.”
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 20, 2018
This comes as three Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Monday to block acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker from the position, asking a judge to deem it unconstitutional.
The Democratic senators are suing to challenge the constitutionality of Whitaker being appointed as acting AG by President Trump.
Whitaker was chosen to lead the Justice Department by Donald Trump after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ‘resigned’ from the role earlier this month.
On Monday, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Whitaker.
“Installing Matthew Whitaker so flagrantly defies constitutional law that any viewer of School House Rock would recognize it. Americans prize a system of checks and balances, which President Trump’s dictatorial appointment betrays,” Blumenthal said.
— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 20, 2018
According to Politico, Schumer requested that the inspector general provide information on whether Whitaker had access to confidential information related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation when he was chief of staff and whether Whitaker provided any assurance to the White House that he would interfere with the Mueller investigation.
Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general has drawn scrutiny from Democratic and Republican senators, some of whom say he should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.