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Whitaker: Mueller Probe to Continue    11/16 06:35

   Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has told Republican Sen. Lindsey 
Graham in a meeting that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will 
proceed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has told 
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a meeting that special counsel Robert 
Mueller's investigation will proceed, according to a person familiar with the 
meeting.

   The meeting with Graham and Whitaker Thursday comes as a bipartisan group of 
senators is pushing legislation to protect Mueller's job. The senators are 
concerned about Whitaker's past criticism of the Mueller probe, which is 
looking at Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties to President 
Donald Trump's campaign. Trump appointed Whitaker acting attorney general last 
week.

   Whitaker told Graham the investigation would be allowed to proceed, the 
person said. The person wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the meeting 
and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

   Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have called for 
Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.

   A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier this week that Whitaker will 
follow Justice Department protocols and consult with senior ethics officials 
"on his oversight responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal."

   Democrats have also called for the special counsel bill to be added to a 
year-end spending bill that must pass in December to avoid a partial government 
shutdown. The bipartisan legislation, introduced more than a year ago, would 
give any special counsel a 10-day window to seek expedited judicial review of a 
firing and put into law existing Justice Department regulations that a special 
counsel can only be fired for good cause.

   On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said he would not vote to confirm 
judicial nominees unless GOP leaders hold a vote on the Mueller protection 
legislation.

   Whitaker is now overseeing the Mueller probe, which had previously been 
overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein told Congress 
that he saw no reason to fire Mueller.

   Recently ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from 
overseeing Mueller because he had worked on Trump's Republican campaign --- a 
decision that infuriated Trump and led to Sessions resigning at the president's 
request.

   Trump has repeatedly criticized Mueller and called the investigation a hoax.

   He tweeted Thursday that the probe is "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN 
AMERICAN HISTORY!"


(KA)

 
 
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