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The White House has released an opinion in favor of President Trump’s new Attorney General. The Free Beacon reports:
The White House, responding to critics, released an opinion Wednesday morning supporting the appointment of Matthew Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general.
In a lengthy opinion, the Office of Legislative Counsel countered arguments that President Donald Trump’s appointment of Whitaker violated federal law and the Constitution. These arguments are likely to get their day in court, as Whitaker’s appointment has already been challenged in the legal system.
Upon the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting under the auspices of the Federal Vacancy Reforms Act, Trump appointed Whitaker—Sessions’s chief of staff—to serve as acting attorney general. Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general until a new AG has been nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate (or until a statutorily prescribed deadline passes).
Whitaker has been openly critical of the ongoing investigation by former FBI Director Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, so his appointment raised alarm in some corners. Sessions had previously recused himself from oversight of the investigation, due to his role as a proxy for Trump in the election, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of it. Oversight authority now passes in principle to Whitaker—a role he is still considering whether or not to take up.
The law is clearly in the White House’s favor, but as with anything the President does, this could end up in the federal court system and gum up the President’s agenda.