Offbeat: Matthew Whitaker, Mueller’s New Boss, Said There Was ‘No Collusion’ With Russia - PressFrom - US

OffbeatMatthew Whitaker, Mueller’s New Boss, Said There Was ‘No Collusion’ With Russia

00:30  09 november  2018
00:30  09 november  2018 Source:

Whitaker defended Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians

Whitaker defended Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians Whitaker replaces Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was asked to resign by U.S. President Donald Trump, as the country’s top law official.  Whitaker will take over as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is named. Trump had repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the investigation being carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller into the alleged collusion. Whitaker defended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting held between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Russian lobbyists with Kremlin ties, during a CNN panel discussion on July 13, 2017.

Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia . Mr. Whitaker had no immediate plans to publicly comment about Mr. Mueller or to take actions regarding At the time, Mr. Sessions said there was nothing nefarious about those meetings, though he acknowledged

Mr. Graham said Mr. Mueller , in his new role as special counsel, was likely to “jealously guard” information. “One of the big losers in this discussion is the The recommendations came even before a special counsel was named on Wednesday to lead the investigation into any collusion between the

Matthew Whitaker, Mueller’s New Boss, Said There Was ‘No Collusion’ With Russia© Provided by The Daily Beast Chip Somodevilla/Getty

A year-and-a-half before he took responsibility for overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Matthew Whitaker, now the acting attorney general, had already reached a conclusion.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” he said in an interview on the Wilkow Majority show. “There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be combining those two issues.”

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Hundreds demonstrate to protect Russia investigation A protest in New York City has drawn several hundred people calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign. The protesters gathered in Times Square on Thursday night and marched downtown. Similar rallies were being held across the country. Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation." Trump asked for Jeff Sessions' resignation and then replaced him with Whitaker, his chief of staff. Whitaker has criticized Mueller's probe.

In 2017, Matthew Whitaker spoke to CNN about Robert Mueller ' s probe into Russian election meddling. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation given his previous public comments that appeared

Matthew G. Whitaker will serve as acting AG and will now oversee Robert Mueller ’ s Russia investigation. He reiterated that there is no collusion . In August, Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to halt the investigation, which Democratic lawmakers said was a blatant attempt to

“The last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians. It’s that simple.”

What Whitaker was basing this declaration on is unclear. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the matter was just three months old at the time and it has—and remains—a lock box when it comes to its findings.

But Whitaker no longer is merely just offering his analysis on the matter. On Wednesday he became the top law-enforcement officer in the nation and, with it, was given effective control of the Mueller probe. His critics—and there are many—fear he will use his leverage to either curtail or fully end the investigation. And they’ve pointed to comments like the one he made to the Wilkow Majority show as evidence that he not only brings a clear bias to his post but has pre-determined the outcome of the investigation he’s now running.

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What are acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker ’s views on the Mueller investigation? The answer may lie in a 2017 op-ed article on he wrote, arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller ’ s investigation The new acting AG wrote a CNN op-ed saying the Mueller probe should be curtailed.

Donald Trump denied any collusion with Russia in the 2016 election but said on Thursday he There is no collusion – certainly myself and my campaign – but I can always speak for myself and Mueller is taking over a sprawling investigation into links between the Trump camp and Russia from

There are numerous other comments, too.

Less than two years ago, Whitaker was a former federal prosecutor and twice-failed political candidate in charge of a small conservative government watchdog group with only a handful of employees. But for conservative media audiences, he is quite familiar.

Over the past three years, he used his position as the executive director of conservative government watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) as an opportunity to become a right-leaning political pundit, penning opinion pieces in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appearing regularly across conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.

The majority of Whitaker’s media appearances focused on the promotion of one argument: Liberals in government are working to undermine Americans in a variety of troubling and unproven ways. And no one is a bigger threat than Mueller.

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In 2017, Matthew Whitaker spoke to CNN about Robert Mueller ' s probe into Russian election meddling. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation given his previous public comments that appeared

President Trump said there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians , when asked about “But the entire thing has been a witch hunt.” “And there is no collusion between, certainly In that meeting, Mr. Rosenstein outlined his decision to appoint Robert S . Mueller III, a former F.B.I

Before joining the DOJ, Whitaker was one of the biggest critics of Mueller’s probe, dubbing it “political” and criticizing its mere existence in numerous media appearances.

During interviews with right-wing radio hosts over the last two years, Whitaker admonished Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for appointing Muller last year, characterizing the probe as a drain on department resources, and suggesting the special counsel’s allies were leaking information designed to make him “look productive and on top of things.”

He expressed sympathy for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pled guilty as part of Mueller’s investigation, and in one interview last year, Whitaker said that “the real Russian ties were with Hillary Clinton.”

Prior to becoming a legal pundit, Whitaker worked as a U.S. Attorney in the George W. Bush administration. After that, he ran a series of businesses and an unsuccessful primary bid in 2014 for the Iowa Senate seat. Whitaker was also on the advisory board of a patent company that ripped off its customers for millions of dollars.

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New Giants boss Farhan Zaidi first recognized by A’ s . The office of special counsel Robert Mueller has charged thirteen Russians and three Russian entities with an elaborate plot Whitaker went on to say that, unless Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein broadened the scope of the investigation

His temporary replacement, Matthew Whitaker , has expressed skepticism over the scope of the Russia There can be no serious question about that.” Kris, like Honig, said that ousting Sessions and While he has touted Mueller ’ s character—“ There is no honest person that sits in the world of

When he became the head FACT in 2014, his media presence truly began to grow. Whitaker used that post to rack up countless talk radio hits across the country attacking Democrats. But while FACT billed itself as a nonpartisan watchdog, it served as a way to launder partisan opposition research to the public.

In 2016, according to public records, Whitaker helmed the group. The company paid $180,000 that year to America Rising LLC, an opposition research firm closely aligned with the Republican Party.

In press releases reviewed by The Daily Beast, America Rising touted FACT as a non-partisan government watchdog and highlighted Whitaker’s political commentary criticizing Democrats. A person familiar with the FACT/America Rising arrangement told The Daily Beast that on some occasions, America Rising’s opposition researchers would share material targeting Democratic candidates with FACT.

FACT would then file ethics complaints based on that research and publicly denounce the Democrats in question. America Rising, subsequently, would promote FACT’s denunciations to reporters as evidence that the Democrats in question were facing non-partisan criticism.

FACT has also criticized some Republicans, including Reps. Mark Meadows and Robert Pittenger. Joe Pounder, who heads America Rising, declined to comment on the group's work with FACT.

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As Mueller ' s boss , Whitaker will have control over the special counsel’s budget, as well as his decisions on subpoenas, indictments and the public “ There is no criminal case to be made on an obstruction of justice,” Whitaker said on CNN. Whitaker has also written that Mueller ’ s probe should

Donald Trump meets with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office shortly after his inauguration. “Would any defense lawyer advise @realDonaldTrump to meet with SC Mueller ? In the absence of any evidence of collusion , why?” asks conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt. “ No collusion = end of inquiry.”.

“FACT is a non-partisan ethics watchdog which holds accountable government officials from both parties, as well as associated political campaigns and organizations,” a spokesperson for FACT said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Since 2014, FACT has filed over 80 complaints, over 60 of which were filed under Mr. Whitaker’s leadership. Mr. Whitaker served as Executive Director of FACT from 2014 to 2017. During his tenure, Mr. Whitaker conducted numerous media interviews analyzing government ethics issues and investigations including his time as a paid contributor to CNN.”

In many ways, Whitaker is the texbook Trump-era political talking head.

He spent most of his interviews arguing that Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and that the FBI was providing “political cover” to the former secretary of state for “not releasing probably very damaging emails.”

He also criticized her political positions, calling her 2016 campaign platform a “grab-bag of failed and regurgitated liberal policies,” and lamented that “since she fell out of the public eye, it has not been as much fun” to conduct investigations into politicians.

Whitaker continued to provide Republicans with political cover after Trump won office in 2016, even pushing a conspiracy theory that suggested a Democratic House IT staffer, not Russian hackers, could have been behind the theft of Democratic emails in 2016.

Whitaker leveraged his position at FACT to draw attention to the case of Imran Awan, a former IT staffer for House Democrats who was charged with bank fraud in 2017.

Key U.S. Senate Republican says acting Attorney General comfortable with Russia probe

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There ’s no evidence of collusion . This is about Russia and what they did and making sure they From Ryan’s perspective, it would be convenient if it were true that Robert Mueller ’ s investigation But there is certainly plenty of evidence pointing toward collusion ; what you would call “probable cause”

New acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker participates in an August roundtable event at the Department of If that stands, there are other ways that Trump and a newly simpatico attorney general could complicate Mueller ' s work. Meet the new boss . Whitaker is a former U.S. district

Awan’s arrest drew plenty of attention from conservative media outlets, who drew elaborate theories speculating that Awan was either involved in nefarious activity with his Democratic bosses, spying on Democrats for a foreign intelligence agency, or even behind the hack of Democratic emails stolen by Russia.

Despite pressure from conservatives, the Awan case was ultimately a letdown for the right. Awan pleaded guilty only to lying on a bank fraud application and avoided a prison sentence. Prosecutors on the case even took the unusual step of saying in court documents that they had investigated the conspiracy theories alleging that Awan was behind any email leaks and found no evidence for them.

At the height of conservative interest in the Awan investigation, Whitaker and FACT called for an ethics investigation into the relationship between Awan and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), one of Awan’s employers.

In an August 2017 radio interview, Whitaker implied there could be a link between Awan and the Russian email hack that cost Wasserman Schultz her position as head of the Democratic National Committee.

“Whether it’s related and part of a bigger theme, that’s what we have to see,” Whitaker said.

In the same interview, Whitaker complained that the Awan case wasn’t getting as much attention from the media as the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

“If it was Russia and Trump, there’d be a 24-hour news vigil,” Whitaker said.

—With additional reporting from Pilar Melendez.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Trump would not intervene if Whitaker moves to curtail Mueller probe.
President Donald Trump said in an interview aired on Sunday he would not intervene if Matthew Whitaker, his acting U.S. attorney general, moved to curtail Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In an interview with the "Fox News Sunday" program taped on Friday, Trump also said he probably would not agree to a sit-down interview with Mueller, who also is investigating whether the Republican president's campaign conspired with Moscow and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Whitaker took over supervision of Mueller's investigation on Nov.

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