That includes opposing the president’s recent appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General after he sought former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation following the midterm elections last week.
The Justice Department, however, has now clarified that not only are Democrats wrong to oppose POTUS Trump’s interim appointment of Whitaker, but they are also incorrect in their demand that he recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s hoax investigation of “Russian collusion,” even though Whitaker has been a vocal, public opponent of it.
In a 20-page memo, the DoJ noted that the president’s appointment is lawful under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, Appointments Clause and is in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.
“As we have previously recognized, the President may use the Vacancies Reform Act to depart from the succession order," the memo says.
"We also advised that Mr. Whitaker's designation would be consistent with the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the President to obtain 'the Advice and Consent of the Senate' before appointing a principal officer of the United States. Although an Attorney General is a principal officer requiring Senate confirmation, someone who temporarily performs his duties is not,” DoJ continued.
“All three branches of government have long recognized, the President may designate an acting official to perform the duties of a vacant principal office, including a Cabinet office, even when acting official has not been confirmed by the Senate."
Democrats tried to make an issue of the fact that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was not appointed to the acting AG post, and that Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff prior to his resignation, was instead. (Related: DEMOCRAT calls for stopping Robert Mueller and draining the swamp, or public faith in government “justice” will be shattered forever.)
Some years ago, Whitaker was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa after being nominated by President George W. Bush. He did not have to be confirmed for his most recent position, Townhall’s Katie Pavlich reported.
In addition to citing the law and the Constitution, the Justice Department also notes there is plenty of precedence for the appointment.
“The one thing the opinion makes clear is that we provide a wealth of history that demonstrat[es] that over 150 persons were designated as acting officers as heads of departments,” a senior DOJ official told reporters during a conference call Wednesday morning. “There’s a long history of this...President Trump has done this five times before, so did President Obama.”
“There have been just dozens and dozens of examples going back," the official noted further. "We found Thomas Jefferson exercising authority that had been given to George Washington designating acting power to the Secretary of War...There have been acting Secretaries of State that have not been Senate confirmed.”
By law, Whitaker can serve in his interim AG role for up to 210 days.
“Congress did not first authorize the President to direct non-Senate-confirmed officials to act as principal officers in 1998; it did so in multiple statutes starting in 1792,” the DoJ memo said. “In that year, Congress authorized the President to ensure the government’s uninterrupted work by designating persons to perform temporarily the work of vacant offices.”
The department noted that in its “brief survey of the history,” there were at least 160 times prior to 1860 that non-Senate-confirmed candidates were temporarily appointed to serve in high offices of government including secretaries of War, the Navy, the Interior, and Postmaster General.
Democrats’ opposition to what POTUS Trump did is just an extension of their general opposition to anything he does.
Read more about President Trump’s White House at WhiteHouse.news.