Schumer sent Trump a letter on Friday warning that Whitaker's appointment ignored the line of succession within the Justice Department and "potentially violated the Appointments Clause of the Constitution" by putting someone who had not been previously confirmed by the Senate into the Justice Department spot. 
 
"Mr. Whitaker is a political appointee who is not serving in a Senate confirmed position in the Justice Department.  I am not aware of any precedent for appointment of an official who has not been confirmed by the Senate to serve as acting Attorney General," Schumer wrote in the letter. 
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He added that the decision to name Whitaker, who was previously Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Democrats in murky legal water with Whitaker lawsuits Whitaker’s past business dealings under scrutiny MORE's chief of staff, "raises a number of questions regarding the propriety and even the constitutionality of that action" and that he wants answers about Trump's "motivations" behind the decision.

Trump announced on Wednesday that he was ousting Sessions, who had been a frequent public punching bag, and replacing him, temporarily, with Whitaker. The White House hasn't given any specifics on when they will nominate a permanent attorney general and it's unlikely that the Senate would have enough time to confirm a nominee this year. 
 
Whitaker's ascendence sparked alarm bells from Democrats, and some Republicans, because of the potential implications for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinDemocrats in murky legal water with Whitaker lawsuits Maryland asks court to replace Whitaker with Rosenstein as acting AG Feinstein requests Senate hearings with Whitaker, Sessions MORE had been placed in charge of the probe, but the Justice Department said this week that Whitaker would be taking over oversight. 

Schumer said he couldn't see a "legitimate reason" for appointing Whitaker when Rosenstein had been Senate confirmed and that the decision was "clouded by unresolved constitutional questions."

Schumer is asking Trump to explain why he leapfrogged over Rosenstein, if he discussed the decision of who to appoint as acting attorney general with anyone else in the administration or if he asked for advice from the Justice Department's Legal Counsel. 
 
He also wants to know if he discussed Mueller's investigation with Whitaker before he was appointed as acting attorney general or if he made Whitaker take a "pledge of loyalty."