Donald Trump seemed to think he was going to get away with firing Jeff Sessions and inserting his own flunky Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, even though the appointment itself was illegal, and Whitaker made himself a target for forced recusal with his public statements about Trump-Russia before he was appointed. Instead we’re seeing swift and broad pushback, including congressional and legal action.
We’ve already seen Senate Democrats work to expose the fact that Sessions was fired as opposed to resigning, which could help the court case in Maryland aimed at getting Matthew Whitaker’s appointment nullified. Now the House Democrats are using their impending majority power to take a different approach. They’ve launched an investigation into Whitaker’s involvement in a multimillion dollar scam company that was shut down by the FTC last year.
Incoming House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff, incoming House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, incoming House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, and other House Democrats have launched a probe aimed at exposing Matthew Whitaker as a scam artist and criminal. They’ve posted a lengthy press release about the matter, but the upshot is that Whitaker has been caught threatening the company’s victims when they complained. Specifically, he abused his position as a former U.S. Attorney to scare the victims out of pursuing their legal rights.
It’s not clear how much legal weight this House investigation can carry before the Democrats officially take majority control in January. But the point appears to be to expose Matthew Whitaker’s alleged criminal behavior so thoroughly, he gets scared and recuses himself or resigns during the transition period, before even more dirt on him can be dug up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report