Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe Explains Why Trump’s Attorney General Replacement Is Illegal


President Donald Trump’s obvious move to thwart the Russia investigation by ousting Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replacing him with Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker is illegal says Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe.

Trump made the announcement on Wednesday just a day after Democrats won majority control of the House on Election Day.

Upon taking over, Whitaker undermined Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by seizing control of the Russia investigation overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller despite having repeatedly shown bias against the probe from the beginning.

Tribe pointed out on Twitter that Whitaker must recuse or be charged with conspiring with Trump to obstruct justice:

Tribe also explained that replacing Sessions with Whitaker, who was not confirmed to his role as chief of staff by the Senate, is against the law, especially since Sessions was clearly fired by Trump:

So, the appointment not only violates the Constitution, it violates a federal law passed in 1998.

Sessions was asked to resign and was forced out when he requested to stay on until the end of the week. Basically, he was fired.

Furthermore, Trump’s appointment of Whitaker undermines the line of succession since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the next in line to take over as Acting Attorney General. Rosenstein was also confirmed by the Senate to his position, which means Trump is undermining the Senate as well.

Clearly, the federal courts need to step in and block Trump’s action. He is openly obstructing justice by handing the Justice Department to a mere staffer, and one who has demonstrated open hostility towards the Mueller probe. This is unacceptable.

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