Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum joined 18 state attorneys general in requesting that Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In a letter to Whitaker, the attorneys general urged him to allow Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to continue supervising special counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned yesterday at the request of President Trump. Sessions had drawn criticism from Trump since recusing himself from the Russia investigation in March 2017.
Now, Whitaker, a close ally of Trump, will oversee the investigation.
"At various opportunities – in print, on television, and through social media – you have suggested cutting the Special Counsel's budget or limiting his authority to follow lines of inquiry," the letter read. "As prosecutors and law enforcement officials committed to the rule of law, we believe that the independent Special Counsel must have the full authority to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any violations of federal law."
Sources close to Whitaker told the Washington Post that the acting attorney general has no plans to recuse himself.
The letter was sent by today Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General, and signed by Democratic attorneys general from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, D.C., Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, Virginia, New Mexico, and Maryland.
Rosenblum was elected attorney general in 2012 and again in 2016. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to Richard Meeker, the co-owner of WW's parent company.)
In May 2017, she joined other state attorneys general in a letter denouncing the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigations director James Comey and calling for Rosenstein to appoint special counsel to continue Comey's investigation.