Whitaker Talking With Ethics Officials About Possible Recusal From Mueller Probe

TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/11/08: Thousands of New Yorkers joined a coalition of grassroots organizations in New York City in a massive demonstration in Times Square to denounce new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may have a conflict of interest and must not oversee the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related crimes by Trump campaign officials and associates. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/11/08: Thousands of New Yorkers joined a coalition of grassroots organizations in New York City in a massive demonstration in Times Square to denounce new acting Attorney ... TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/11/08: Thousands of New Yorkers joined a coalition of grassroots organizations in New York City in a massive demonstration in Times Square to denounce new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may have a conflict of interest and must not oversee the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related crimes by Trump campaign officials and associates. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 13, 2018 9:25 a.m.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is currently in conversation with ethics officials within the Justice Department about his possible recusal from oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, DOJ officials said Monday night, according to Politico.

“Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is fully committed to following all appropriate processes and procedures at the Department of Justice, including consulting with senior ethics officials on his oversight responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Monday.

Speculation over whether Whitaker will fire Mueller or take steps to curb his probe has been rampant since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ousted last week and President Trump tapped Whitaker — Sessions’ chief of staff — to replace him in the interim. Top Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the probe, citing Whitaker’s past comments disparaging Mueller and the investigation.

Whitaker has reportedly told advisers that he doesn’t plan to defund Mueller’s probe — a suggestion he made during an interview with CNN before he joined the administration — now that he’s in the acting leadership position. The White House has repeatedly stressed that Whitaker made those comments as a private citizen, not as a member of the administration.

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