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    Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

    Dems Say Trump's Sessions Firing Threatens Mueller's Russiagate Probe

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Democrats in the US Congress erupted in outrage and at least one Senator threatened impeachment after President Donald Trump ousted the attorney general and handed the post over temporarily to Department of Justice lawyer Matthew Whitaker.

    Several lawmakers demanded on Wednesday that Whitaker immediately recuse himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of purported Trump campaign collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential contest, while Senator Bernie Sanders warned Trump of possible impeachment.

    “President Trump must allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to continue unimpeded,” Sanders tweeted. “Any attempt by the president or the Justice Department to interfere with Mueller’s probe would be an obstruction of justice and impeachable offense.”

    Earlier in the day, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation at the request of Trump, who subsequently named Whitaker, Sessions’s chief of staff, as acting attorney general.

    Whitaker has previously questioned the scope of the Mueller probe, writing an opinion column for CNN last year charging that the investigation would be going too far if expanded to include Trump family finances. Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt,” while Russia has repeatedly and emphatically denied that any collusion took place.

    “Matt Whitaker should also recuse himself from supervision of the special counsel given his past comments targeting the Mueller investigation & advocating for limits on its scope and cuts to its funding,” Senator Cory Booker tweeted.

    Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Patrick Leahy echoed Booker’s remarks in calling for Whitaker’s recusal.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren warned that Trump’s decision to ask for Sessions' resignation followed by the appointment of Whitaker as acting attorney general “brings us one step closer to a constitutional crisis.”

    READ MORE: 'He's Fighting Back': WH on Trump's Call for Sessions to End Russia Probe

    As the top official at the Justice Department, Whitaker is now in charge of the Mueller probe because he outranks Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took charge due to Sessions' recusal.

    “Whitaker’s appointment raises blaring alarms about the acceleration of obstruction of justice and a fundamental attack on the rule of law in our country," Senator Ron Wyden tweeted. “Congress must act right now to protect the special counsel’s investigation.”

    Trump’s nomination of a permanent replacement for Sessions will require confirmation by the US Senate, which remains in Republican control following midterm elections.

    READ MORE: US Must Review Sessions’ Clearance for Hiding Russia Contacts — Statement

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    Tags:
    Democrats, investigation, threat, firing, Russiagate, Robert Mueller, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, United States
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