It confounds logic and good sense for Matthew Whitaker, acting in his capacity as merely an interim U.S. Attorney General, to assume control of the Special Counsel’s investigations.
Deputy Rod Rosenstein has conducted oversight of Mueller’s work with unquestionable decency and ethical integrity. No one disputes that fact. So why should Rosenstein be shunted for doing his job so admirably?
It begs the question as to what Machiavellian motive prompted President Trump to assign Whitaker to the interim position, instead of Rosenstein, especially considering Whitaker lacks the credentials, the experience and the temperament of Rosenstein. Indeed, Rosenstein has more than proven his competence to be nominated as Jeff Sessions’ successor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already commanding Whitaker be replaced quickly by a duly vetted and Senate-confirmed Attorney General. The process could be speedily expedited if both Republican and Democratic senators pressured Trump to nominate Rosenstein. It should not be difficult for leading senators from both sides to garner the support needed to confirm Rosenstein’s appointment.
But, until a nominee is forthcoming from the President and confirmed, it would behoove Whitaker to act within the confines of established protocol and behave with caution and restraint consistent with his functioning as only a temporary caretaker of the Justice Department and not the head honcho.