President Trump's forcing out of Jeff Sessions has cast doubt on the future of Robert Mueller's investigation—especially since Sessions' replacement, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, has long been a critic of the probe. Whitaker, who served as Sessions' chief of staff, has repeatedly accused the Mueller investigation of overreach and said last year that if funding could be cut off, "his investigation grinds to almost a halt." He also tweeted a link describing the probe as a "witch hunt." A senior administration official tells the Washington Post that Whitaker, who met with Trump at least a dozen times, tended to smile and nod in agreement whenever the president complained about the Mueller investigation. More:
- Outcry from Democrats. Democrats viewed the move as a clear attempt to crush the Russia election-meddling probe and called for Whitaker to recuse himself as Sessions had done, the BBC reports. "Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation," Nancy Pelosi tweeted, citing Whitaker's "records of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation."