Trump promises peace, but turmoil over Russian Federation probe and media intensifies

Ballot measures that would approve marijuana for recreational or medical use were endorsed in three states. Voters in North Dakota rejected legalization. (Bryan Anselm  The

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Matthew Whitaker would be appointed acting USA attorney general after Jeff Sessions resigned from the position just a day after the midterm elections.

Protesters believe Sessions' resignation will lead to the undoing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign.

Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker, formerly Sessions' chief of staff, as acting attorney general under the US Vacancies Reform Act, which lays out general rules for temporarily filling vacant executive branch positions. He wrote a year ago on CNN.com that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to stop him from delving into Trump's finances.

Responsibility for the probe was then passed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

He called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe because of previous comments about the investigation, echoing calls from other top Democrats.

As Mueller's new boss, Whitaker has significant power to hobble or even halt the investigation that Trump has long called a "witch hunt". The investigation is looking into United States allegations of Russian meddling in the election two years ago and any possible coordination between Russian and the Trump campaign, which the president denies.

Last November, Whitaker penned a CNN op-ed claiming that the Robert Mueller investigation was going too far by digging into the president's financial records.

Nadler and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee also sent letters to Whitaker and the top Republican on the committee, retiring Rep. He has been interviewed as part of Mueller's probe. "I'd like to know the truth", said Pat Noga, an Emmaus resident.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who has already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, said it is "paramount" that Trump's new attorney general protect the Mueller investigation.

In July 2017, he said during an interview on CNN that he could envision a scenario under which a temporary attorney general doesn't fire Mueller but rather "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".

In the president's orbit, there remains some concern about his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., though there are no outward indications that charges are imminent, according to a Republican close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. Trump's advisers are privately expressing worries that the special counsel, who's been out of the news for the past month, has been stealthily compiling information and could soon issue new indictments or a damning final report.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing a probe in March 2017, shortly after taking office.

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.

Trump repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse himself. As CBS News has reported, chief of staff John Kelly called Sessions shortly before a presidential press conference on Wednesday and asked him to resign.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called it a "blatant attempt" to undermine the Russian Federation probe, while Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that "clearly, the president has something to hide".

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