The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Diane Alexander,

29 National Organizations and Ethics Experts Urge Members of Congress to Ensure Whitaker Recusal and Mueller Protection


29 national organizations and ethics experts sent a letter to Senators and Representatives today expressing deep concern about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. The letter urged Members to help ensure that Whitaker is removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation and that the Mueller investigation is protected from any interference.

(See list of organizations and experts at the end.)

According to the letter, "Mr. Whitaker has repeatedly demonstrated his bias and hostility to the Mueller investigation." The letter stated:

As a result of his numerous attacks on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker has an irreparable conflict of interest in his role as overseer of the investigation, and is incapable of making publicly credible decisions in that capacity.

The letter stated:

It appears that President Trump appointed Mr. Whitaker in order to take control of the Mueller investigation, which involves both the President and his son. Mr. Whitaker, previously described as the "eyes and ears" of the White House in the Justice Department, apparently has been placed in his new position to serve the interests of President Trump, and not the interests of the Justice Department or the American people.

The letter called on Members to "take all necessary steps to help ensure that Mr. Whitaker is removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation."

The letter also stated that the Mueller investigation "must be protected from any interference and allowed to proceed to its full and appropriate conclusion."

The letter called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to "allow the Senate to act on the bipartisan legislation reported out in April 2018 by the Senate Judiciary Committee to protect the Mueller investigation." According to the letter:

We reject Senator McConnell's unfounded speculation that the investigation is safe from interference and that therefore there is no need for this bipartisan legislation."

We call on Senator McConnell not to partner with President Trump in his efforts to undermine and potentially kill the Mueller investigation.

The letter called on Members "to take all necessary steps to help ensure that the Mueller investigation is protected from any interference." The letter stated:

President Trump has made a direct attack on the rule of law and on the norms of law enforcement in appointing to oversee the Mueller investigation an individual who has made clear he is biased against the investigation and who has a conflict of interest in overseeing the investigation.

This must not be allowed to stand.

The letter concluded by calling on Congress "to act to protect the Mueller investigation and to help ensure that Mr. Whitaker is removed from his role as overseer of the investigation."

Find the full letter here. The letter was signed by:

Action Group Network

American Oversight

Center for American Progress

Coalition to Preserve, Protect and Defend

Common Cause


Daily Kos

Defending Democracy

Demand Progress

Democracy 21

End Citizens United

Equal Justice Society


Justin Hendrix, March for Truth

Law Works

Lawyers for Good Government

Loyal Opposition

Niskanen Center

Norman Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer, 2009-2011

People For the American Way

Protect the Investigation

Public Citizen

Revolving Door Project

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer, 2005-2007

Service Employees International Union (SEIU))

Stand Up America

Stand Up Republic

Sunlight Foundation

Truman National Security Project

Democracy 21 is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to making democracy work for all Americans. Democracy 21, and its education arm, Democracy 21 Education Fund, work to eliminate the undue influence of big money in American politics, prevent government corruption, empower citizens in the political process and ensure the integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections. The organization promotes campaign finance reform and other related political reforms to accomplish these goals.

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