Democrats file suit challenging Whitaker appointment

Three Democratic senators on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the appointment of acting Attorney General M...

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 7:29 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 7:29 AM

Three Democratic senators on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the appointment of acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, ratcheting up the court effort to declare his placement atop the Justice Department as unconstitutional.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii filed the suit in US District Court on Monday, represented by the public interest groups Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center.

Appointments

Law and legal system

Lawsuits and claims

Matt Whitaker

Political Figures - US

Trial and procedure

Government and public administration

Political organizations

Politics

US Democratic Party

US political parties

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Government organizations - US

Investigations

Justice departments

Rod Rosenstein

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US Congress

US Senate

"The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice — a lackey whose stated purpose, apparently, is undermining a major investigation into the president," Whitehouse said in a statement.

The lawsuit is only the latest challenge to Whitaker's appointment to replace Jeff Sessions after President Donald Trump fired his attorney general the day after the election.

Whitaker has come under fire from Democrats and others because he was a vocal critic of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation before joining the Justice Department.

He was serving as Sessions' chief of staff before Sessions was ousted, and has not gone through the Senate confirmation process in that role. His appointment leap-frogged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which also gave Whitaker control over the Mueller investigation that had previously been supervised by Rosenstein.

Democrats had previously urged Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the Mueller investigation, in addition to questioning the constitutionality of his appointment.

Last week, the Justice Department issued a memo defending Whitaker's appointment, concluding that it was legally justified under the Vacancies Reform Act because it's a temporary appointment and "he had been serving in the Department of Justice at a sufficiently senior pay level for over a year."

The Senate Democrats' lawsuit, however, argues that his appointment is unconstitutional under the Constitution's Appointments Clause requiring Senate confirmation of high-level federal appointees.

In addition to the lawsuit filed Monday, Maryland's attorney general filed suit last week asking a federal judge to replace Whitaker with Rosenstein. Attorney Tom Goldstein, who is representing Maryland in that case, also filed a separate motion asking the Supreme Court to declare Rosenstein as acting attorney general.

Whitaker has also come under scrutiny from House Democrats, who will take control of the chamber in January. Four expected committee chairmen sent letters to Whitaker and others asking for information about Whitaker's involvement in a company shuttered by the Federal Trade Commission, declaring they plan to investigate the matter next year.

Trump said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that "it's going to be up to him" when asked if he would accept attempts by Whitaker to curtail the Mueller investigation.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Florence
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 84°
Fayetteville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Decatur
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Scottsboro
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 78°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 114098

Reported Deaths: 1144
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21924298
Davidson19812208
Rutherford625453
Hamilton580347
Knox418638
Williamson336322
Sumner326471
Unassigned29285
Out of TN279314
Wilson215223
Montgomery178113
Bradley177112
Sevier17636
Putnam164613
Trousdale15766
Robertson147519
Hamblen131113
Blount11868
Tipton11379
Washington11142
Maury11077
Madison95714
Bedford89011
Sullivan85911
Macon84713
Hardeman84312
Lake7580
Loudon6863
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6468
Anderson6376
Dickson6301
Gibson6152
Dyer5797
Cheatham5546
Rhea5141
Jefferson5133
McMinn49820
Lawrence4976
Henderson4830
Obion4644
Warren4544
Carter4525
Coffee4482
Lauderdale4457
Hardin4267
Cocke4212
Haywood4145
Greene3986
Roane3982
Cumberland3976
Smith3933
Hawkins3915
Monroe3809
Giles36012
McNairy3355
Weakley3293
DeKalb3261
Franklin2964
Marshall2713
Lincoln2591
Carroll2513
Crockett2464
Hickman2400
Claiborne2350
White2323
Henry2310
Campbell2241
Wayne2222
Johnson2140
Marion2104
Chester2012
Grainger1810
Polk1813
Decatur1742
Overton1411
Unicoi1410
Union1330
Cannon1310
Humphreys1133
Benton1111
Jackson1091
Scott1050
Grundy1042
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan941
Perry770
Fentress760
Hancock761
Stewart720
Clay660
Lewis621
Houston540
Moore530
Van Buren330
Pickett271

Community Events