Installing Trump’s New Acting AG Is Unconstitutional, Says Kellyanne Conway’s Husband. And Then There’s The ‘Dark Money’
Was Trump’s New AG Installation Unconstitutional? What About The Dark Money?
President Donald Trump is required to seek the Senate’s advice and consent for the country’s top law enforcement officer and the person who will oversee the Mueller investigation, according to a New York Times opinion piece co-authored by George T. Conway III — husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Trump failed to get Senate confirmation when he installed Matthew G. Whitaker as acting attorney general on Wednesday, and that’s unconstitutional, said George Conway, who’s a lawyer.
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The op-ed was just the latest in a series of public shots at the policies of his wife’s boss, Washington Post reported. Just last week Conway called Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship unconstitutional too in another op-ed.
Earlier today, Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s actions to reporters outside the White House.
“There has been no mechanism for scrutinizing whether (Whittaker) has the character and ability to evenhandedly enforce the law in such a position of grave responsibility,” the article said. “The public is entitled to that assurance, especially since Mr. Whitaker’s only supervisor is President Trump himself, and the president is hopelessly compromised by the Mueller investigation.”
Whitaker served as chief of staff for the recently fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and now he has taken over his former boss’s job — at least for now.
Anything Whitaker does as acting AG is invalid as his appointment was invalid. The Constitution clearly states that all principal officers must be confirmed by the Senate. The courts need to invalidate this illegal appointment immediately! #IllegalAppointment #Unconstitutional https://t.co/98ISQHxCc2
— Eugene Monnier (@MonnierEugene) November 8, 2018
Congress, including MI-3, should have done their job and checked the power of the Executive instead of becoming its junior partner. Nobody in red gets a pass. #unconstitutional
— Scott Tiret (@ScottTiret) November 6, 2018
Trump is considering former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to replace fired Sessions, sources familiar with the matter said, according to CNN.
Before Whitaker was appointed as Sessions’ chief of staff on Sep. 22, 2017, he served for three years as executive director of an organization called Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
FACT describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.” But the organization has come under fire for its own lack of transparency, according to DesmogBlog, a watchdog for global warming misinformation campaigns and a source of information.
FACT’s funding in some years came entirely from Donors Trust, an organization also known as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Its donors include Charles and David Koch, “funders of climate denial,” Desmog reported.
Whittaker’s work included advocacy for causes backed by the fossil fuel industry.
When a coalition of attorneys general from 17 states investigated ExxonMobil for failing to disclose what it knew about climate change to its investors for decades, Whittaker said the investigation was “both unconstitutional and unethical”. However, the investigation recently led to charges against Exxon for funding climate denial efforts to the tune of at least $33 million.
FACT has come under fire for its right-wing partisan bent, Desmog reported:
“It’s perhaps worth noting that although FACT describes itself as a ‘non-partisan ethics watchdog,’ its ethics complaints are targeted overwhelmingly (though not exclusively) at Democrats, and it is funded entirely by an anonymous trust fund (a so-called ‘pass-through’) favored by ultra-wealthy conservative donors, including Charles Koch,” the Global Anti-Corruption Blog wrote in September of this year.
The DeSmogBlog team is led by Jim Hoggan, founder of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada’s leading public relations firms.