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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 9, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 45
Trump fires Jeff Sessions, replaces him with someone just as bad
Section One
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Trump fires Jeff Sessions, replaces him with someone just as bad

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Only a day after the election, Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. While that might seem like a cause for celebration, he replaced Sessions with someone just as bad.

Matthew Whitaker, the new acting attorney general, was Sessions' chief of staff before Trump raised him to head the whole Justice Department.

In doing so, Trump passed over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who would normally step into Sessions' shoes. Both Rosenstein and Sessions were targets of Trump's wrath - Rosenstein for doing his job as supervisor of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, and Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.

Whitaker has publicly stated that the Russia investigation has 'gone too far' and is widely expected to kill it to protect Trump.

Like many Trump appointees, and like his predecessor, Whitaker is a conservative Christian with a long history of anti-LGBT bias.

Whitaker launched his political career in Iowa in 2002, campaigning for state treasurer. He also ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination to the Senate in 2014. In that campaign, Whitaker billed himself as 'a Christian who regularly attends church with his family.'

As might be expected from that description, Whitaker has an affinity the legal theories of the Christian right.

'I have a Christian worldview,' he said during his 2014 campaign. 'Our rights come from our Creator and they are guaranteed by the Constitution.'

Judges should be 'people of faith' who 'had a biblical view of justice,' he added.

From 2004 to 2009, when Whitaker was a US attorney in Iowa, he targeted Matt McCoy, the state's first out Gay legislator.

Whitaker brought extortion charges against McCoy, claiming that McCoy threatened a company with loss of Medicaid contracts if it didn't pay him.

'There's no allegation that he would have been successful or had any sway with the state Medicaid office,' Whitaker said. 'It's merely the threat that was made.'

McCoy denied the charges, saying that the company owed him $2,000 for a failed business deal.

Whitaker based his case on the testimony of a paid witness but originally denied to the jury that his office had offered the witness money. After he was forced to admit paying the witness, the jury found for McCoy after only two hours of deliberation. McCoy still serves in the Iowa legislature.

Whitaker has also called for a special prosecutor to look into Hillary Clinton's email server and he said that Trump made the 'right decision' to fire Comey.

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Congressman Adam Smith statement on the resignation of Attorney General Sessions
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