Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out at the Department of Justice and President Donald Trump has installed Matt Whitaker — Sessions’ former chief of staff — as his acting replacement, anti-Trump forces are seeing red. Some on the left are accusing the president of firing Sessions to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, while others are saying Whitaker must recuse himself for having expressed opinions about the scope of Mueller’s probe.
Both are false narratives designed to protect and empower the special counsel’s fanged cabal of Trump-hating prosecutors while also attempting to intimidate the president.
Trump would be wise not to take the bait.
For starters, the attorney general serves at the pleasure of the president and can be replaced at any time for any reason. It’s not unusual for an administration to make staffing changes after midterm elections. Secondly, fair-minded Americans are also questioning the unwieldy scope of the year-and-a-half-long Mueller probe, given that it has strayed far from its original mandate of investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election by delving into Paul Manafort’s business dealings from long ago and other matters that have nothing to do with President Trump or protecting the integrity of future elections.
“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,” Whitaker wrote in an op-ed for CNN in August 2017.
It also doesn’t go unnoticed that the special counsel’s investigation, despite having unlimited resources and turning over every stone, has not produced a scintilla of evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
Hence, Whitaker and others have naturally questioned whether Mueller and his henchmen are engaging in a political fishing expedition, which some on the left are now saying is grounds for Whitaker’s recusal — a ridiculous and partisan notion, given that these are the same Democrats who insisted that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who expressed extremely partisan anti-Trump sentiments in a slew of text messages, could do their jobs without letting their political opinions and biases interfere with their duties of overseeing both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump campaign investigation. Two sets of rules? Clearly.
If Strzok, Page, James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan and other former powerful figures in U.S. intelligence agencies and elsewhere within the Department of Justice were allowed to have partisan opinions, the new acting attorney general should be, too.
Then there’s the chatter about whether the attorney general should be loyal to the president or not. Democrats and their media lap dogs are trying to have it both ways by insisting that any attorney general in the Trump administration must serve the country and have a fidelity to our laws and not his or her boss. Sounds noble, but the rest of us know that former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and other high-ranking officials within the deep state under Democrat Barack Obama were fiercely loyal to him.
To think or say otherwise would be disingenuous.
With the Mueller probe now squarely back in the spotlight, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and the president should stay the course and not accept two sets of rules — one for them and another for Democratic administrations.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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