City of San Francisco threatens court
action over Trump's acting Attorney General
Send a link to a friend
[November 13, 2018]
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco's
city attorney on Monday questioned the recent appointment of a new
acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of
Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not
provide a legal justification for the designation.
President Donald Trump last week named Matthew Whitaker to replace
former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was forced out after months
of attacks by Trump for recusing himself from an ongoing probe into
Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The move made Whitaker supervisor of the investigation, which has hung
over Trump's presidency. Whitaker has criticized the probe in the past
as too wide-ranging, which has raised concerns among Democrats that
Sessions' ouster and Whitaker's appointment might be precursors to Trump
moving to end it.
In the letter on Monday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said
the city currently has four cases proceeding in court that name Sessions
as a defendant. One of those cases led to an injunction blocking a Trump
executive order over sanctuary cities.
Given that the Sessions resignation impacts those cases, Herrera said
DOJ should provide legal justification for the Whitaker appointment.
Otherwise, the city "may be forced" ask a judge for it, the letter said.
[to top of second column]
Chief of Staff to the Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends a
roundtable discussion with foreign liaison officers at the Justice
Department in Washington, U.S., August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Allison
A Justice Department spokesperson could not immediately be reached
Sources told Reuters last week that Senate Democrats were
considering suing Trump on the grounds that, in naming Whitaker, the
president ignored a statutory line of succession at the Justice
Department and deprived senators of their constitutional "advice and
consent" role on some presidential appointments.
Herrera's letter also questioned Whitaker's appointment because he
had not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
(Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by G Crosse)
[© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2018 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.