On August 6, 2017, Acting United States Attorney General Matthew Whitaker wrote a CNN op-ed discussing his thoughts on the legality of the Mueller Probe. The article was titled “Mueller’s Investigation Of Trump Is Going Too Far.”
Whitaker assumed the role of Acting AG following Jeff Sessions resignation earlier today. Sessions resignation removes Rod Rosenstein from his oversight of the Mueller Probe and hands over that responsibility to Whitaker, who is now the acting AG.
Some excerpts of the article shown below paint a clear picture of Whitaker’s position on the Mueller Probe:
The President is absolutely correct. Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.
In an interview with The Times last summer, Trump was asked if Mueller happened to look into “your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia – is that a red line?”
“I would say yeah. I would say yes,” Trump answered.
According to a CNN article, Mueller’s investigators could be looking into financial records relating to the Trump Organization that are unrelated to the 2016 election. According to these reports, “sources described an investigation that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 election.” The piece goes on to cite law enforcement sources who say non-Russia-related leads that “involve Trump associates” are being referred to the special counsel “to encourage subjects of the investigation to cooperate.”
This information is deeply concerning to me. It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.