Ethics official said Whitaker should recuse from the Mueller probe, but his advisers told him not to, officials say

The Washington Post reports:

A senior Justice Department ethics official concluded acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker should recuse from overseeing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe examining President Trump, but advisers to Whitaker recommended the opposite and he has no plans to step aside, people familiar with the matter said.

Earlier Thursday, a different official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said ethics officials had advised Whitaker need not step aside, only to retract that description of events hours later.

The advice to stay away from the Mueller probe underscores the high stakes and deep distrust — within Congress and in some corners of the Justice Department — surrounding Whitaker’s appointment as the nation’s top law enforcement official until the Senate votes on the nomination of William P. Barr to take the job. [Continue reading…]

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