Press Release ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
November 14, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Department of Justice released their opinion on the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General:

“The Constitution provides the Senate with a responsibility to advise and consent to the President’s appointment of senior federal officials who fulfill Constitutionally important roles in the exercise of our government.  This is a fundamental component of our system of checks and balances and Congress’s standing as a coequal branch of our government.  The appointment of an unconfirmed official to serve as acting Attorney General runs counter to this principle.  The Trump Administration’s Justice Department may claim otherwise, but bipartisan legal experts disagree, and I believe that the federal courts will side with the State of Maryland and others who have filed suit to protect our Constitution and ensure that it is upheld to its letter and spirit. 
 
“In addition to Mr. Whitaker’s appointment being unconstitutional, he is wholly unqualified for this position, having made past statements contradicting American principles of judicial independence and having prejudged the outcome of the special counsel’s investigation he is now tasked with overseeing.  President Trump ought to forestall the need for a divisive court battle with the potential for sparking a Constitutional crisis by withdrawing his appointment of Mr. Whitaker and instead allowing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to become acting Attorney General according to the established chain of succession.  This is a test of whether the individuals elected to defend our Constitution will have the courage to do so.”