Press Release: Friday, November 9, 2018
AG Healey Leads Coalition of Attorneys General Calling for the Recusal of Acting Attorney General Whitaker
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today led a coalition of 18 state attorneys general calling for the recusal of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, referencing his widely-circulated public comments criticizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The letter, sent to Whitaker at the U.S. Department of Justice, states that his recusal is “necessary to maintain public trust in the integrity of the investigation and to protect the essential and longstanding independence of the Department you have been chosen to lead, on an acting basis.”
“Even if the legitimacy of Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s appointment were not already in serious doubt, his open hostility to the Special Counsel’s investigation disqualifies him from overseeing Robert Mueller,” AG Healey said. “Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein must be allowed to protect the Special Counsel and insulate the investigation from the interference by the White House.”
The letter states that in print, on television, and through social media, Whitaker has suggested cutting the Special Counsel Mueller’s budget or limiting his authority to follow lines of inquiry. The attorneys general also write that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein should continue tosupervise the Special Counsel’s investigation, which must proceed free from interference or supervision that would “appear to many Americans to be biased.”
Joining Massachusetts Attorney General Healey in today’s letter are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.