Listen: Trump’s Acting Attorney General Said the President Can Kill Any Investigation He Wants
President Donald Trump's new acting Attorney General is under the impression that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice.
He made the remarks in an audio recording obtained via a conversation he had on the David Webb Show. Whitaker also had a copy of the recording uploaded on the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust's Youtube page, which he used to be the Executive Director for.
Mother Jones first reported on this finding:
"On June 9, 2017, Whitaker was asked on the David Webb Show about a congressional hearing the previous day, during which James Comey, whom Trump had recently fired as FBI director, had said that Trump had asked him to drop the bureau’s investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some legal experts and members of Congress had suggested that Comey’s account suggested Trump had engaged in obstruction of justice. Whitaker disagreed. He contended, “There is no case for obstruction of justice because the president has all the power of the executive and delegates that to people like the FBI director and the attorney general…The president could and has in our nation’s history said stop investigating this person or please investigate this other person.” Whitaker belittled talk about obstruction of justice in this case as “hyperventilation.”
In another radio interview on the day of the Comey testimony, Whittaker dissed the Mueller investigation, remarking, “There’s really nothing here.” And he explicitly said Trump had the right to shut it down or control its direction: “This is power that is completely vested in the president…If he wanted to he could have told Jim [Comey] to stop investigating former [Defense Intelligence Agency] director Flynn. And he didn’t…I’m sure he made his preference known. Quite frankly, he’s president of the United States. He can do that.” Whitaker conceded that it might be fair to characterize such a presidential demand as “inappropriate,” but he insisted it would well be within Trump’s prerogatives."
Trump is said to have violated the law by installing Whitaker, Session's Chief of Staff, over Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein. Fox News' Judge Napolitano even pointed this out:
"He must select “a person who serves in an office for which appointment is required to be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”
Of course, he didn't do this. The fact that Whitaker has been so public about his distaste of the Mueller investigation can be considered to be obstruction of justice, now that he is Mueller's boss and can sidestep any reports that Mueller submits to him.