Sunday 18 November 2018

Max Boot: 'Trumpian true believer in top justice job puts America's democracy on the line'

Trump loyalist: Matthew Whitaker has been named as acting attorney general. Photo: AP/Charlie Neibergall
Trump loyalist: Matthew Whitaker has been named as acting attorney general. Photo: AP/Charlie Neibergall

Max Boot

On Tuesday, voters handed the House to Democrats. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump showed why this kind of check on his untrammelled authority is so imperative - if probably inadequate.

Nearly the first thing the president did after getting the election news - shortly after threatening Democrats and berating the media in a Wednesday morning news conference - was to fire attorney general Jeff Sessions. Trump then appointed as acting Attorney General, not the natural candidate - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an apolitical career prosecutor - but, rather, Sessions's chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker. Why pick Whitaker?

A former US attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and a hulking former football player from the University of Iowa, Whitaker is a Trumpian true believer.

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