Whitaker Overseeing Mueller Investigation: From Hidden Ethics Review to Marine One Trip With Kushner, Red Flags Aplenty
It will be months before President Trump’s handpicked loyalist Matt Whitaker is relieved from his attorney general duties by Trump’s handpicked loyalist Bill Barr if he is confirmed. Whitaker holds enormous power over the Justice Department and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation – but refuses to release the ethics review and its final recommendations that would have taken into account his long list of conflicts overseeing the Mueller probe. In fact, new questions are arising, including a Marine One trip with Jared Kushner who is at the center of many key Russia questions.
Whitaker’s woes are piling up:
Ethics Review And Prejudging Mueller
Whitaker’s ethics review has reportedly concluded, but he is refusing to tell the American people what the career ethics officials recommended. Did the ethics officials decide Whitaker’s public statements about how he would undermine the Mueller investigation pose a conflict and that he should not oversee the investigation? Did the review conclude he cannot participate in FTC matters because his business ties are under investigation by the FTC?
Whitaker must release his full ethics review otherwise the American people doubt his ability to oversee the Mueller investigation.
Questionable $1.2 Million From Shadow Donors
Whitaker is refusing to explain who donated $1.2 million to the conservative group he led before he became acting attorney general. Without saying who the shadow donors were, the career ethics officials cannot determine whether secretive donors have financial leverage over Whitaker and whether there are conflicts of interest that prevent Whitaker from overseeing Mueller or other investigations.
Shady Marine One Trip With Kushner
Jared Kushner is involved in Mueller’s investigation, which Whitaker is overseeing. It poses an enormous conflict and potential obstruction that Kushner invited Whitaker to privately meet and travel with him on Marine One. Did Kushner discuss the Mueller investigation with Whitaker or solicit information about evidence Mueller has against Kushner?
This private meeting alone should compel Whitaker to step aside and no longer oversee the Mueller investigation.