Matthew Whitaker, the controversial acting attorney general whose appointment has been called unconstitutional by many legal experts, apparently isn't going anywhere.
A source tells Axios' Jonathan Swan that President Donald Trump has shown "no great urgency" in nominating a replacement for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and is very pleased with Whitaker's supposed "courage" in defending him.
"Clearly what he likes about him is he’s holding his ground, not running for the tall grass," one White House source tells Swan.
Prior to taking the job as Jeff Sessions' chief of staff, Whitaker was highly critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Additionally, Whitaker also mused publicly about ways an attorney general could cripple the Mueller probe without actually dismissing the special counsel.
"I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt," Whitaker said during a CNN interview last year.
A lawsuit filed by three Senate Democrats this week argued that Whitaker’s appointment to acting AG is unconstitutional because, unlike current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Whitaker was not confirmed by the Senate when he took the job as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff.
The argument is similar to the one outlined by George Conway, the husband of White House counsel Kellyanne Conway, who earlier this month also said that the Whitaker appointment violated the Constitution’s Appointments Clause.