Given how President Donald Trump has picked someone on record as slamming Robert Mueller's investigation and talking about cutting off its funds to be the acting Attorney General (following the firing of Jeff Sessions), a lot of people are now obviously anxious about Mueller potentially being in danger.
"He previously reported to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein".
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump defended his choice of Whitaker, who has been panned by critics for his past comments on the probe, saying the former United States attorney had an excellent reputation and came highly recommended by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is now Trump's ambassador to China.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2017 opinion that the authors of the Constitution included provisions for Senate advice & consent because they "recognized the serious risk for abuse and corruption posed by permitting one person to fill every office in the government".
Trump has not said who he will nominate to permanently replace Sessions.
"Specifically, the chain of command before looked like Jeff Sessions (a Senate-confirmed principal officer who recused himself in the Mueller probe), then Rosenstein (also Senate-confirmed), then Mueller", Stern said.
Senate Democrats were pondering suing Trump, the sources said, on the grounds that, in naming Whitaker, the president ignored a statutory line of succession at the Justice Department and deprived senators of their constitutional "advice and consent" role on some presidential appointments.
Mueller is probing both Russia's interference and whether Trump's presidential campaign may have colluded with Moscow.
"I am concerned about comments that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has made regarding the Special Counsel and the parameters of his investigation", she said.
Last month, Trump said on the Fox News program Fox and Friends, "Matt Whitaker's a great guy".
Asked about Whitaker on Friday, Trump told journalists: "I don't know Matt Whitaker". A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Whitaker was "not aware of any fraudulent activity". As Mueller's new boss, Whitaker is expected to take charge of oversight over the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, including approval of budget decisions and subpoenas.
"But because of all the conflicts, they didn't want to bring him before the Senate.so don't talk to me about Whitaker".
He also called Whitaker "a very highly respected man".
U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian Federation interfered in the election in an attempt to tip it towards Trump and away from his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"He was very, very highly thought of, and still is highly thought of, but this only comes up because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them", Trump said. "He's said repeatedly it's going to be allowed to finish".