Former federal prosecutor says acting Attorney General Whitaker will have 'light touch' on Mueller probe

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno said Thursday that new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will have a light touch on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE's probe into Russia's election interference. 

"I think Democrats, who are certainly emboldened by the election, will certainly say ... that there's a conflict here," Moreno told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"I think it's grey. I think these things are often left to the officials themselves, and I think it's a rabbit hole that frankly we don't need to be going down because I think, my expectation is, he will have a similarly light touch over the Mueller investigation as Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill Jake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE has had these 18 past months, and I don't think it's going to be an issue long-term," he continued. 

"The issue is going to be what, if anything, does Bob Mueller find? So it's the substance, I think, not the process that will ultimately be what's really important here in the long run," he said. 

Moreno's comments come less than a day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ousted by President Trump

The Justice Department told The Hill that Trump's pick to replace Sessions, Whitaker, will oversee Mueller's probe. 

"The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice," DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. 

Trump has long slammed Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, which he has called a politically motivated "witch hunt."

Democrats have said that Whitaker's previous critical comments about Mueller's probe make him unfit to oversee the investigation. 

Politico reported on Wednesday that senior House Democrats are planning to invite Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill if Trump takes action to shutter the Russia probe. 

— Julia Manchester