Matthew Whitaker, Mueller’s new boss, concluded last year there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia

The Daily Beast reports:

A year-and-a-half before he took responsibility for overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Matthew Whitaker, now the acting attorney general, had already reached a conclusion.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” he said in an interview on the Wilkow Majority show. “There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be combining those two issues.”

“The last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians. It’s that simple.”

What Whitaker was basing this declaration on is unclear. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the matter was just three months old at the time and it has—and remains—a lock box when it comes to its findings.

But Whitaker no longer is merely just offering his analysis on the matter. On Wednesday he became the top law-enforcement officer in the nation and, with it, was given effective control of the Mueller probe. His critics—and there are many—fear he will use his leverage to either curtail or fully end the investigation. And they’ve pointed to comments like the one he made to the Wilkow Majority show as evidence that he not only brings a clear bias to his post but has pre-determined the outcome of the investigation he’s now running. [Continue reading…]

CNN reports:

As he was preparing to remove Jeff Sessions as attorney general, President Donald Trump had already begun reviewing with his lawyers the written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The move to replace Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who has been openly critical of the special counsel, comes as the White House braces for a return of public activity on the Russia investigation following a pre-election quiet period, according to people briefed on the matter.

As acting attorney general, Whitaker also now takes over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s role in overseeing the special counsel probe, which officials inside the Justice Department and lawyers representing witnesses believe is moving closer to a conclusion.

Mueller’s team has begun writing its final report, multiple sources told CNN. [Continue reading…]

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