Democratic Senators Challenge Matthew Whitaker Appointment In Lawsuit

The lawmakers claim Whitaker's appointment to temporarily lead the DOJ is unconstitutional because he wasn't confirmed by the Senate.
Posted at 3:27 PM, Nov 19, 2018

The challenges to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's recent appointment keep coming. 

On Monday, three Democratic senators announced they've filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to remove Whitaker from the position.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono and Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement that because Whitaker wasn't confirmed by the Senate, his appointment violates the U.S. Constitution. 

It's the same argument that's surfaced recently from critics of President Donald Trump's pick to oversee the agency following former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ouster. 

Both the state of Maryland and a Constitutional law attorney have challenged the decision in separate cases. 

Last week, the Justice Department released a memo defending the appointment. According to the DOJ, because Whitaker is only serving on a temporary basis, there's no Senate confirmation requirement.

The decision to select Whitaker has sparked concerns about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, as both Trump and Whitaker have expressed disapproval of the probe.

So far, the DOJ hasn't responded to the latest suit. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN