Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ouster “places the Special Counsel’s investigation in new and immediate peril.”
Read his full statement below:
“The firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions places the Special Counsel’s investigation in new and immediate peril. It is abundantly clear that Sessions was forced out for following the advice of ethics lawyers at the Department of Justice and recusing himself from the Russia probe, and for failing to bring about an end to an investigation that has produced multiple indictments and convictions and may implicate the President or others around him.
“Matthew Whitaker, who the President announced will serve as Acting Attorney General, has been publicly critical of Special Counsel Mueller and has argued, without legal basis, that the Special Counsel is prohibited from investigating the President’s finances even if they are relevant to the Russia probe. In fact, this may be precisely why the President has chosen to put Whitaker in this role.
“It is imperative that Mueller be allowed to continue his work without political interference, including any investigation into whether the Russians possess leverage of any kind over the President of the United States. DOJ officials with conflicts must recuse themselves from oversight of the Special Counsel’s investigation, as well as any other investigation concerning the President, and whoever succeeds the Deputy Attorney General in overseeing the investigation must pledge that they will allow the Mueller’s investigation to proceed unimpeded. Anyone who refuses to do so in the most unequivocal terms should be rejected.
“Interference with the Special Counsel’s investigation would cause a constitutional crisis and undermine the rule of law. If the President seeks to interfere in the impartial administration of justice, the Congress must stop him. No one is above the law.”