Pelosi: Whitaker’s appointment to acting AG ‘does violence to the Constitution’

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week MORE (D-Calif.) ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, saying in a new interview that his appointment “does violence to the Constitution.” 

"It does violence to the Constitution and the vision of our founders to appoint such a person in such a manner to be the chief legal officer in our country. And that's bipartisan," Pelosi told CBS News's Margaret Brennan in an interview set to air Sunday on “Face the Nation.” 


Trump tapped Whitaker to lead the Justice Department after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE announced Wednesday that he was resigning at the president's request. Whitaker had served as Sessions’s chief of staff since September of last year.

Shortly after Sessions's ouster, Trump also announced that Whitaker would oversee special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein5 myths about William Barr William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE had supervised Mueller's probe since Sessions recused himself last year.

Whitaker's ascension to his new role prompted immediate concern among bipartisan lawmakers regarding the fate of Mueller’s investigation. 

Whitaker has publicly touted that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia and has denounced the special counsel's investigation as a "witch hunt," adopting the president's own rhetoric.

In May 2017, Whitaker penned an op-ed for The Hill criticizing the idea of appointing a special counsel for its investigation.

“Serious, bipartisan congressional investigations into the Russian allegations have been under way for weeks and they have made progress. Hollow calls for independent prosecutors are just craven attempts to score cheap political points and serve the public in no measurable way,” he wrote. 

Pelosi and other Democrats called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel in light of the comments.

“Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation. Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation. #FollowTheFacts,” she tweeted Wednesday.

Pelosi on Wednesday officially launched her bid to become Speaker, following through on her vow to seek to reclaim the Speaker’s chair after an eight-year absence.