Trump’s Conversations With Whitaker Lead to Increased Concerns of Obstruction

Matthew Whitaker at the Ray Center

President Donald J. Trump has fumed to his acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, that the latter is not doing enough to stymie probes into the former's activities. Such a move is, itself a sign of possible obstruction.

According to sources close to the administration, the President was upset that federal prosecutors have filed charges that impact him, and "lashed out" about same. These sources stopped short of saying the President attempted to get Whitaker to halt the investigations, however.

The first of these two incidents occurred after Michael Cohen, the president's former attorney, plead guilty to lying to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project. That was on the 29th of November, shortly after Whitaker replaced Jeff Session on the 7th.

Sessions, the previous Attorney General, had recused himself from the Mueller investigation, a move that seemingly angered Trump. Whitaker, meanwhile, is viewed as a Trump loyalist who has long echoed the President's views on the probe. Many have pushed Whitaker to recuse himself, a move he has resisted.

A week after Trump's initial outburst with Whitaker, he again expressed his displeasure with the acting Attorney General, after prosecutors in Manhattan implicated the president in hush money payments during his 2016 presidential run.

During that outburst, the president pushed Whitaker, asking why more wasn't done to rein in new York's prosecutors.

Trumps willingness to use the Department of Justice to protect himself and attack his enemies has been a concern throughout his Presidency: Trump had attacked the former Attorney General many times over his inaction when it came to halting the Mueller investigation.

In 2016, many complained about a meeting in Phoenix between former President Bill Clinton and President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, with many fearing that the former President was attempting to obstruct investigations regarding his wife, Hillary.

The current President’s actions towards his acting Attorney General may be viewed similarly, and far worse, than that meeting 2016 with the former President.

Image by The Ray Center via Flickr and a CC license

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