Democratic senators file suit to block Matt Whitaker's appointment

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Denouncing President Donald Trump's appointment of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker-a fervent critic of the Russian Federation probe-as a blatant effort to "subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability", three Democratic senators on Monday filed suit against the White House and demanded that Whitaker be barred from temporarily serving as the nation's top law enforcement official.

The motion calls for the court to resolve this dispute immediately.

"The validity of the Special Counsel's appointment at that time can not be retroactively affected by a change in the official who is serving as the Acting Attorney General in November 2018", the prosecutors wrote. "But we say even if we're wrong, it would be better for everybody to know the answer to this because this is turning into a mess".

Goldstein's motion is not the only legal filing asking a court to decide on the correct acting attorney general.

The attorney general of Maryland last week brought a similar legal challenge, saying Trump violated the so-called Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution because the job of attorney general is a "principal officer" who must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Another issue is whether the president must follow a federal law governing succession in the attorney general's office, or whether he can choose to follow a different federal law governing vacancies. Whitaker was Sessions's chief of staff.

Sessions had recused himself from the probe, handing the responsibility to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was confirmed by the Senate.

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"Acting Attorney General Whitaker's designation neither alters the Special Counsel's authority to represent the United States nor raises any jurisdictional issue". The case is United States v. Haning. A hearing on Maryland's legal challenge is slated for December 19.

The lawsuit is being filed by Democratic Sens.

The lawsuit, first reported by the Daily Beast, was filed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and focuses on the question of executive power. The senators contend they have standing to sue because they were deprived of a vote on Whitaker's appointment.

Kamenar's challenge to the legitimacy of the special counsel probe is based on a claim that Mueller's appointment was not handled properly.

Representatives Denny Heck and Ron Wyden have decried Whitaker's promotion to acting AG "unconstitutional", adding he hasn't been subjected to Senate Confirmation.

"There are over 160 instances in American history in which non-Senate confirmed persons performed, on a temporary basis, the duties of a Senate-confirmed position", Kupec said. "None of those arguments is affected by the change in the identity of the Acting Attorney General while this case is on appeal". Donald Trump can not subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability.

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