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Can Trump block the Mueller probe?

Can Trump block the Mueller probe?

President Donald Trump is calling acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker "a very highly respected man" as he faces criticism about his appointment to replace Jeff Sessions.

Ethics officials at the Justice Department are likely to review his past work to see if he has any financial or personal conflicts. In the meantime, congressional Democrats could challenge Whitaker's appointment under the Vacancies Reform Act, given that Sessions did not die or become incapacitated but was asked to step aside by the President.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump defended his choice of Whitaker, who has been panned by critics for his past comments on the probe, saying the former US attorney had an excellent reputation and came highly recommended by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is now Trump's ambassador to China.

Demonstrators gathered outside the US consulate in Vancouver on Thursday in support of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump announced via Twitter that Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will be acting attorney general.

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Mueller probe after Sessions recused himself from the investigation, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview" of the DOJ.

He also said there was no evidence Russian Federation interfered in the election at all.

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Though the call-to-action was quick, the organization had been building an arsenal of demonstrators for the possibility of Trump ending the investigation for a year. Another Republican senator, Susan Collins of ME, said she was concerned by some of Whitaker's past comments and called for legislation that would place limits on his ability to fire special counsel Mueller.

Whitaker will now oversee the investigation of interference from Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential elections as well as possible collusion with the campaign of President Trump, a controversial probe headed by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

He could also refuse to sign off on a subpoena of Trump if the president refuses to voluntarily speak to investigators.

The mayor said the Senate's right tilt Tuesday night could pose a threat to the investigation.

That contradicted remarks Trump made on Fox News last month, when he called Whitaker "a great guy" and said "I mean, I know Matt Whitaker". "However, we do not believe increased Democratic oversight will prevent Whitaker or his successor from restricting Mueller's work".

Mueller is investigating allegations of Russian meddling and collusion in the 2016 USA presidential election. McConnell on Friday said he didn't "have any advice to give the administration on that".

"I have some very, very good people", he said. A person familiar with the matter said he got on the White House's radar via conservative circles in Iowa, his TV appearances and his connections with the Federalist Society and other conservative groups.