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More than 400 ex-DOJ employees sign letter protesting Whitaker appointment

December 5, 2018

More than 400 former Justice Department employees released a letter Tuesday opposing President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.

The ex-staffers say Mr. Trump skirted the Constitution by appointing Mr. Whitaker, who was chief of staff for his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, instead of elevating the department’s number two official, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“Because of the profound responsibilities the position entails and the independence it requires, it can only be filled by someone who has been subjected to the stricter scrutiny under the process required by the Constitution,” they wrote in the letter.

The former Justice Department employees urged Mr. Trump to nominate a successor to Mr. Sessions, who was forced to resign last month, and also put a Senate-confirmed person as acting attorney general.

“It falls to all of us to ensure that the Department’s role in maintaining the rule of law is not undermined or tainted,” the letter said.

Project Democracy, a left-leaning group government accountability group, organized the effort. It said the signatories have served in administrations of both parties and the majority were “non-partisan career civil servants.”

Among the more notable names on the list are Matt Miller, a former spokesman for Eric Holder, and Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor and MSNBC analyst who was a consultant for the Obama administration.

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