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Sen. Hirono Joins Lawsuit Against Attorney General Appointment

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Senate Democrats File Lawsuit Challenging Trump's Appointment Of Matt Whitaker

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's appointment will have "no effect" on legal work now underway by special counsel Robert Mueller, prosecutors say.

Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii filed the lawsuit Monday in a federal court in Washington. "President Trump is denying Senators our constitutional obligation and opportunity to do our job: scrutinizing the nomination of our nation's top law enforcement official". His powers now include supervising Robert Mueller, the special counsel running the investigation into whether Trump's associates conspired with Russian Federation when it interfered in the 2016 election. Check back for updates. All three are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is tasked with holding confirmation hearings for the attorney general role.

President Trump told Fox News on November 18 that Whitaker is free to make decisions on how to handle Mueller's probe.

Responding to a petition to the Supreme Court to declare Whitaker's appointment illegal, department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said it is consistent with laws governing presidential appointments of top-level officials and "comports with. actions of United States presidents, both Republican and Democrat". They claim that the appointment violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, which requires that principal officers be appointed "with the Advice and Consent of the Senate".

The suit is the fourth legal challenge of Trump's appointment of Whitaker, following the ouster earlier this month of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump had long disparaged for removing himself from oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Trump's appointment is in violation of the Constitution's Appointments Clause, the Senators allege.

"Installing Matthew Whitaker so flagrantly defies constitutional law that any viewer of School House Rock would recognize it. Americans prize a system of checks and balances, which President Trump's dictatorial appointment betrays", Blumenthal said.

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"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", Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.

"It's going to be up to him". The designation is consistent with an opinion the department issued in 2003 and with "two centuries of practice". The complaint asks the Court to "declare Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional and to enjoin him from serving as, or carrying out the duties of, Acting Attorney General", a joint media release stated on Monday.

Stone, who was a longtime informal political adviser to Trump, once described Miller as his "wingman" because he helped manage Stone's schedule, travel and media appearances, and also provided "some I.T. work".

It was the second challenge in one week to Whitaker's appointment. "And I would certainly call on my colleagues right now to avoid the constitutional crisis, take action now, speak out against this appointment".

In the interview, Trump also suggested Mueller's probe is nearing its completion.

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