Justice legal opinion backs Whitaker’s naming as acting AG

Staff Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Wednesday released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general as Democrats press the case that President Donald Trump violated the law and Constitution by making Whitaker the country’s chief law enforcement officer.
The 20-page opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, which provides advice to executive branch agencies, aims to rebut mounting complaints that Trump illegally sidestepped procedure by appointing Whitaker over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein, the second-ranking Justice Department official, has been confirmed by the Senate and oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Whitaker had been chief of staff to now-ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a job that didn’t require Senate confirmation. He became acting attorney general when Sessions was forced out on Nov. 7 and was given oversight of Mueller’s inquiry...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition,