Regarding the Nov. 8 front-page article “New boss could limit Mueller’s authority, budget”:
President Trump shot himself in the foot by naming Matthew G. Whitaker as acting attorney general. Justice Department ethics guidelines bar an employee from participating in a matter when there are “circumstances . . . that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the facts to question an employee’s impartiality.”
How could any reasonable person not question Mr. Whitaker’s impartiality, given his questioning of the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, suggesting that its funds might be cut off and defending Donald Trump Jr.’s participation in the Trump Tower meeting that is central to the investigation? Mr. Whitaker’s lack of impartiality is why Mr. Trump named him.
David Small, Bethesda
President Trump fired Jeff Sessions as attorney general. The timing of this action, and the immediate replacement with a vocal critic of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, leave zero doubt as to the motivation of this firing: The president wants the Mueller investigation to end before it reaches its natural conclusion. The rule of law is about to be thrown into question. A constitutional crisis is at hand.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said there would be “holy hell to pay” if the president fired Mr. Sessions. Can I, as a voting constituent of Mr. Graham, count on him to follow through on his words and demonstrate that the rule of law is not dead in this country, by sponsoring legislation to protect the special counsel and by backing an official investigation as to whether this constitutes illegal obstruction of justice on the part of our president?
James Bates, Greer, S.C.
Regarding the Nov. 8 front-page article “As power realigns, so do battle lines”:
Listening to President Trump threaten Congress if the new Democratic-led House holds oversight hearings into possible corruption, I have one question: If Mr. Trump is confident that he and his administration have done nothing improper, why not embrace the House and the special-counsel investigations to clear up any false accusations?
The president’s outrage and threat of a “warlike” response to investigations reveals his worry about the American people learning the truth.
Marla Allard, Washington
And so it comes to this. With midterm ballots still to count, President Trump has compelled Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “resign,” his only apparent rationale his pique arising from Mr. Sessions’s proper recusal from oversight of the Russia probe. Time will tell whether Mr. Trump’s action is obstruction of justice in plain public view. His elevation of Matthew G. Whitaker, whose own public statements demand recusal from supervising the special counsel’s investigation, to acting attorney general, is perhaps dispositive. Many questions nag: Will Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein be sacked? How will career Justice Department officials respond to Mr. Trump’s meddling? Will the Trump administration honor probable subpoenas from the special counsel or from the new Congress’s oversight committees? Will a Supreme Court with two Trump appointees respect the precedent of U.S. v. Nixon? Will Republican elected officials gainsay Mr. Trump or opt for studious inaction as the nation potentially lurches toward constitutional crisis and banana-republic governance? The GOP’s recent conduct does not inspire confidence for any thinking citizen.
David Routt, Richmond