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What Sessions’ Resignation Means for the Mueller Investigation – Time to Wrap It Up?

by Axios | Updated on 11.8.18

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ abrupt resignation on Wednesday at the request of President Trump immediately raised questions about the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into potential Russian collusion and ties to Trump's 2016 campaign.

Driving the news: President Trump has elevated Justice Department chief of staff Matthew Whitaker to acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is confirmed. Whitaker has questioned the scope of Mueller's investigation.


The details: The deputy attorney general traditionally assumes the acting role as the country’s top law enforcement official upon such a departure.

  • Rosenstein has been overseeing the special counsel’s investigation after Sessions recused himself due to his close ties with the Trump campaign.
  • However, Whitaker will now assume control of the investigation, according to a DOJ prosecutor.
  • He had questioned the scope of the Mueller probe, arguing in a CNN op-ed last year that the special counsel had gone too far in explaining the Trump family’s finances.
“This would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt.”

The big picture: Rosenstein has largely been seen as a barrier protecting the Mueller investigation from Trump’s interference. As Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes of the Lawfare Blog explain, Rosenstein "has assiduously defended the Mueller investigation, even as the president has decried it as a ‘witch hunt,’ even as congressional committees have pressed for unprecedented document releases by way of discrediting it."

What's next: With Democrats fresh off a midterm campaign victory in taking control of the House, they will continue to express their frustrations over Whitaker's new role and the urgent need for congressional action to protect Mueller. They've already warned that Whitaker's previous remarks about Mueller suggest he is unfit to oversee the investigation.

Axios

Written by Axios

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(281)
  • burrkitty
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Did Muller say he was done? No? THEN LEAVE THE MAN ALONE AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB.

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  • Jeffdavis1969
    Voted Maybe
    11/08/2018
    ···

    I hope and pray that Mr. Mueller already has sealed indictments in place. He's very smart and had to see this coming after the election. Trump certainly didn't waste any time.

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  • Marylynn
    11/09/2018
    ···

    If his job isn't done, let him finish, period, end of story.

    Like (11)
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  • Shelly
    Voted Yes
    11/09/2018
    ···

    Get it done, whatever the outcome, and lets move forward.

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  • Clint
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Republicans have spent years and millions investigating Hillary and found no fault, no indictments and no guilty pleas. Trumps been investigated for 2 years and there has been 23 indictments and 5 guilty pleas. Not to mention his own words when he asked Russia to hack the democrats and don’t get the timeline mixed up. He asked and then it happened. This is not a waste of time or money. Our election was manipulated and we have indictments and guilty pleas to prove it. All of us should want this investigation to be allowed to finish. Our democracy is counting on it.

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  • Phil
    11/08/2018
    ···

    He's not done and Trump is hiding something. Actually a lot of somethings.

    Like (4)
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  • Stickyfingers
    Voted Yes
    11/08/2018
    ···

    This investigation has costed us taxpayers in the multi millions and still No evidence against President Trump. This was a farce from the beginning, set up by the fascist liberal democrats because they lost the election.

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  • Carol
    Voted Maybe
    11/09/2018
    ···

    Only time to wrap up when he says it is.

    Like (3)
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  • Marizzapan
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    The nation was torchured when the GOP forced years and years and years of unwarranted investigations on Hillary, who was eventually exonerated, and not once did Hillary, the Democrats or President Obama connive to obstruct the ongoing process. The unwarranted investigations on Hillary cost the taxpayers millions and millions of dollars but GOP and supporters didn't care then, but, boy oh boy, they sure care now when it's one of their own under investigation. How galling, but the hypocrisy is not surprising. Special Counsel Mueller has already indicted, subpoenaed, charged and jailed many who are close to trump in this investigation and he's not finished by a long shot. No one is above the law, which we heard constantly from the GOP when the GOP was investigating Hillary. Now they must abide by their own words. No one is above the law. And if trump and GOP are blemish free, then they and their supporters should not have a problem with this investigation. But that they DO have a problem with it just goes to show how guilty trump/GOP actually are and Mueller should be allowed to prove it. And he will because, I reiterate, NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

    Like (42)
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  • Mike
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Justice cannot be rushed. Trump says he isn’t guilty so why is he acting like he is?

    Like (39)
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  • David
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    If Donald stops the Mueller investigation, you are allowing a decay of our democratic system.

    Like (23)
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  • Clark
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    we want the truth!!

    Like (21)
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  • Robert
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Not as long as there are new, developing discoveries that are unlawful and obstructing justice/collusive w/ foreign gobs,ie. Russian Oligarchs

    Like (21)
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  • Jason
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Hell no. Need to get every morsel of corrupt information possible. Don’t go down without a fight. Unfortunately, how many in the senate would actually vote “guilty”? U can impeach all you want, trump could care less because he has no morals to shame into quitting. We just saw the American people say they were ok with Republican controlled senate. This is on us.

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  • Lisa
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    Because a person that Trump appointed thinks it’s not appropro to look into Trump’s finances as part of an ivestigation means that the investigation MUST be finished - on whatever timeline it needs to be conclusive either way.

    Like (19)
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  • burrkitty
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Did Muller say he was done? No? THEN LEAVE THE MAN ALONE AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB.

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  • Bruce
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    First, let Mueller finish! Second, as was pointed out clearly and concisely in the New York Times yesterday, this appointment violates both the law and the U.S. Constitution. THAT MUST MEAN SOMETHING IN COUNTRY BASED ON LAWS! All of my congressmen must active immediately to nullify this gross violation by a President who believe no laws apply to him!

    Like (18)
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  • Ray
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    To preserve our democracy and stop the bullying and intimidation environment trump is advocating, we must complete the investigation of Russian meddling with our election and any connection with trump campaign. Our country and our people deserve to know if their president is trustworthy and abided by the rules of laws of the US.

    Like (17)
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  • Kodiwodi
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    When Mueller is done I’m certain he’ll tell us. I doubt a man who has brought so many crime families to justice and toppled so many criminal conspiracies wishes to spend the rest of his life on dirty Donny. He has always served his country with the upmost honor and honesty. I trust him to tell us when he’s finished.

    Like (17)
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  • SarahCastillo
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Prosecutors should be free to conduct their investigations.

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  • Taylor
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    If there is anything incriminating toward the Trump administration, then the Mueller investigation should continue. Trump is not above the law, and he should not be able to squash investigations against him. He can call it a witch hunt all he wants, but if there’s reasonable cause for concern, investigate away.

    Like (15)
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  • What.About.Ethics
    Voted No
    11/08/2018
    ···

    Innocent people are not afraid of investigations. The Trump-Republican White Nationalist Administration is very afraid. I did not complain when they were investigating Clinton and found nothing (a witch hunt). This investigation has already been productive and I feel it is a good use of my tax dollars. If they are innocent, the investigation will prove that.

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  • Ellen
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    We want Mueller to finish is assignment fully. The end. Do not allow the orange buffoon-Trump-to stop him.

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  • Alan
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    The Babe Ruth Of B.S. Podunk 45, is trying too hide something. Look at the fake/doctored video of Jim Acosta the Sarahuck tweeted. Podunk 45 is a disgrace to the Republican party. Remember: While you're pointing one finger at some one, three are pointing back at you!

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  • Patricia
    Voted No
    11/09/2018
    ···

    Muller will present the findings of his report when the job is complete. Keep Muller protected until the job is finished.

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