Meet Trump's New Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker

U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker speaks during a news conference Wednesday Dec. 20 2006 in Des Moines Iowa. The federal government has charged 23 illegal aliens taken into custody last week at a raid at a Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown I

The move Wednesday has potentially ominous implications for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe given that the new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, until now Sessions' chief of staff, has questioned the inquiry's scope and spoke publicly before joining the Justice Department about ways an attorney general could theoretically stymie the investigation. Mitt Romney, who just won election to the U.S. Senate from Utah, also tweeted that the Mueller probe should be allowed to proceed "to its conclusion unimpeded".

The sacking followed months of Mr Trump criticising Mr Sessions, mainly for his decision to step aside from the Russian Federation inquiry in March 2017.

The former federal prosecutor served as Sessions' chief of staff for one year.

"Clearly, the President has something to hide", Schumer wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, later adding: "Mr Whitaker should recuse himself from (the probe's) oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general".

Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, a former USA senator from Alabama and one of the first members of Congress to back Trump's presidential campaign in 2015.

"Donald Trump, you will not keep us from knowing the truth, whatever the truth is", said rally organizer Andrea Hildebran Smith of the activist group Floridians Against Corruption and Treason. "The president could, and has in our nation's history, said stop investigating this person or please investigate this other person".

Without Sessions' campaign or Russian Federation entanglements, there's no legal reason Whitaker couldn't immediately oversee the probe.

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However, now that Sessions is gone, his acting replacement Matt Whitaker will oversee the investigation.

The protests come a day after Trump effectively fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a move many see as clearing the way for Trump to go after Mueller.

Trump had enjoyed Whitaker's cable TV appearances - including one on CNN in which he suggested that the Mueller probe be starved of resources - and the two men soon struck a bond.

In April, Pingree co-sponsored House legislation to protect the Mueller investigation by making it more hard for a president to remove a special counsel.

Some prominent legal scholars have already lambasted the choice of Whitaker, including George Conway, the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. Whitaker was a vocal critic of the investigation prior to his appointment.

Even though Whitaker has always been skeptical of the investigation, he has never called for it to be shut down.

After recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, the staunchly conservative Sessions spent his time ramping up efforts to combat violent gangs, drug use and illegal immigration - all key components of Trump's law-and-order agenda. The moment the Democrats clinched the required 23 seats to retake the lower chamber; they were readying the various probes into this presidency-and the left wing harassment of this administration is about to begin.

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