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November 8, 2018


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 17 other attorneys general, today called on Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from any involvement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, referencing his widely circulated public comments criticizing that investigation.

The letter, sent directly to Whitaker at the U.S. Department of Justice, states that his recusal is "necessary to maintain public trust in the integrity of the investigation and to protect the essential and longstanding independence of the Department you have been chosen to lead, on an acting basis."

"With his biased statements, Acting Attorney General Whitaker has disqualified himself from serving as an impartial supervisor of the critical investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election," Madigan said. "He should recuse himself immediately."

Madigan and the other attorneys general cite federal ethics regulations that require federal government employees to recuse themselves from participation in matters when their involvement would raise any "question in the mind of a reasonable person about his impartiality."

The letter states that in print, on television, and through social media, Whitaker has suggested cutting the Special Counsel Mueller's budget or limiting his authority to follow lines of inquiry. Madigan and the other attorneys general also write that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein should continue to supervise the Special Counsel's investigation, which must proceed free from interference or supervision that would "appear to many Americans to be biased."

Joining Madigan in sending the letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.


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