Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Steve Cohen Reacts to Firing of Attorney General Sessions

November 7, 2018
Press Release

MEMPHIS, TN – Congressman Steve Cohen, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s firing of  U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and appointment of Sessions’ Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General:

“President Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions is just the latest interference with the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete this investigation without political interference, and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein should continue to supervise.

It strains credulity to believe that Matthew Whitaker could provide objective supervision.  His past statements render him inappropriate.

This action raises serious questions about the rule of law and our constitutional order. The American people deserve answers, and I intend to work with my colleagues to make that happen.”

Matthew Whitaker has previously written an op-ed entitled “Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far” and publicly discussed the possibility of reducing Special Counsel Mueller’s budget to a point so low that the investigation would grind to a halt.

Congressman Cohen is a cosponsor of the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, H.R. 5476, which would protect special counsels from being removed from office except for good cause such as misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, or conflict of interest.  It would also allow a special counsel who has been inappropriately removed to challenge such removal in court.