President Trump finally has “his man” running the Justice Department and that will mean the Russia investigation, and special counsel Robert Mueller, are about to be significantly reined in.
Matthew Whitaker once tweeted approval of an news article suggesting that the public might never learn what Mueller’s investigation reveals because the attorney general might simply decline to release Mueller’s report.
Now Whitaker is that attorney general.
Whitaker is a former US attorney from Iowa, and was the White House’s “eyes and ears” during his time as Jeff Session’s Chief of Staff.
More importantly to Trump, Whitaker has never been a fan of Mueller, or his investigation, once calling it a “witch hunt.”
Last year he wrote a lengthy op-ed on why the special counsel should be limited in his duties:
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter appointing special counsel Robert Mueller does not give Mueller broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation,” wrote Whitaker. “He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government.”
There have been reports that Mueller has been looking into possible financial crimes, unconnected to the 2016 election.
Whitaker made it clear that would stop if he were in charge.
“I’ve prosecuted several financial crimes at the federal level and I’ve also defended plenty in my private practice,” wrote Whitaker. “From this unique vantage point, I can understand how a motivated prosecutor, in a broad investigation into the financial affairs of high-profile individuals, can become overzealous toward the targets of such probes — with calamitous results. While no one is above the law, in situations such as this, any seasoned prosecutor must use discretion both judiciously and expertly.”
He then called on Rosenstein to rein in Mueller.
“It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel,” Whitaker wrote.
What this all means is that a special counsel’s report would potentially contain damning information that led to a political response, including either impeachment proceedings or electoral losses for members of Congress who declined to advance impeachment proceedings.
But if the attorney general simply keeps the information in his back pocket, then there is no political impact.
It seems clear Whitaker would like you to never know what Mueller knows.