Richmond joins nationwide protests after Attorney General Jeff Sessions resignation

Richmond joins nationwide protests after Attorney General Jeff Session\s resignation
Late night TV hosts make their comments heard as Jeff Sessions resigns
Before that, he served as chief of staff to now-former attorney general Jeff Sessions. Whitaker is replacing Sessions after he resigned at U.S. President Donald Trump‘s request on Wednesday.

But well before that, starting in 2014, Whitaker served as a paid adviser to World Patent Marketing, a Miami-based company that was ordered to pay an approximately US$26-million settlement earlier this year, the Guardian reported.

Trump had repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from any investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That investigation is currently being lead by former FBI director Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has overseen the probe's work.

World Patent Marketing was last year sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that it had scammed inventors by offering to promote their works in exchange for thousands of dollars, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Gonzales resigned as attorney general under a cloud of controversy and amid accusations that the Justice Department has been used for political purposes. He was accused of dismissing several U.S. attorneys in 2006 for politically partisan purposes. Gonzales maintained the dismissals were rooted in lacklustre performance records.

Chief of Staff to the Attorney General Matthew Whitaker (L) looks over at U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a roundtable discussion with foreign liaison officers at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., August 29, 2018.

It described a company that would make contact with inventors, offering to help develop their products and monetize them.

Whitaker, who had a stint as a legal commentator for CNN, has been vocal in his criticism of Mueller's investigation and its scope. He once opined about a situation in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller's probe.

However, its board, on which Whitaker sat alongside a time-travel scientist and world karate champion, didn’t meet or review any inventors’ pitches.

As the New Times told it, people ended up on the board through a “quid pro quo” arrangement that would see them paid as much as $12,500 every year.

Gonzales said if a decision is made to curtail or end the Mueller probe, that shouldn't be made by the acting attorney general, but someone within the normal lines of the chain of authority, either the deputy attorney general or the solicitor general.

Whitaker, who was paid almost $10,000 through regular payments of $1,875, received a donation of $2,600 from World Patent Marketing CEO Scott Cooper when he ran for the Senate in 2014.

When asked whether Whitaker would now assume control over the Mueller investigation, U.S. Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters" under the purview of the department.

Trumps Effort to Hobble the Mueller Investigation Must Be Stopped

He also appeared in marketing materials for the company, appearing in a video that showed him evaluating an invention, and saying in a news release, “World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate[s] those words into action.”

Gonzales, who was the attorney general in George W. Bush's administration from 2005 to 2007, said he doesn't know Whitaker, his qualifications or motivations, but there's a lot that calls into question his appointment.

While serving in this role, Whitaker sent an ex-client a threatening email after this person complained that he had not received the services that World Patent Marketing said it would provide.

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he's "profoundly concerned" that the new acting attorney general is someone who has criticized and publicly expressed skepticism about the Russia investigation. 

In the email, which appeared in court records, Whitaker said that there could be “serious civil and criminal consequences” if the former client made a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or “smear[ed]” the firm online.

As attorney general, and earlier as White House counsel, he faced criticism for drafting controversial rules for military war tribunals, seeking to limit the legal rights of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

Whitaker wasn’t named in the FTC’s lawsuit against World Patent Marketing, in which it was ordered to pay $25,987,192.

Cooper, the company’s CEO, later came to an arrangement in which he would pay $1 million in assets, as well as any money he made from the sale of his $3.5-million home.

Shortly after, Mr. Sessions issued a resignation that he said had been demanded by the President. Mr. Trump installed Matthew Whitaker, Mr. Sessionss chief of staff, as acting attorney-general. The appointment included transferring supervision of Mr. Mueller from Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein to Mr. Whitaker. Mr. Trump did not say when he would nominate a permanent attorney-general, who would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Global News has reached out to the U.S. Justice Department for comment. The Guardian could not reach Whitaker for a response.

In the middle of an already chaotic day, President Donald Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign — and several hours later, late-night comedians were ready to weigh in. Even they couldn’t believe the swiftness of the news cycle.

They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate, and a lot of very questionable things were done, he said, adding that in such a scenario, he would also refuse to strike any deals with the Democrats to move legislation forward: You cant do them simultaneously … if theyre doing that, were not doing the other.

Video: After Sessions firing, Sen. Manchin says country on “verge” of constitutional crisis

“We’re like, forget the Democrats in the House. Clearly, the big news of the day is now going to be Trump and his fiery press conference,” Trevor Noah said on “The Daily Show.” “But then Trump stood up again and said, ‘Oh, you think I’m the story of the day? No, I’m the story of the day.’”

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They all zeroed in on Trump’s anger toward Sessions, particularly about the fact that he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Late-Night Hosts Have Field Day With Jeff Sessions Departure

“Trump has made no secret of his feelings about Sessions,” Colbert said. “He’s called Sessions a ‘traitor,’ ‘a dumb Southerner,’ ‘Mr. Magoo,’ and perhaps most humiliating of all, ‘member of my administration.’”

Mr. Sessions was a Trump loyalist and one of the first high-profile politicians to endorse his presidential bid. As attorney-general, he was a major player on the Presidents hard-line immigration agenda, helping implement a contentious policy that led to unauthorized immigrants at the Mexican border being separated from their children.

Here are some of the other topics that Noah, Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Jimmy Fallon all covered:

Colbert: “Now, there is some confusion among stupid people as to whether Sessions was fired or he resigned. He did submit a letter of resignation, but it began, ‘At your request, I am submitting my resignation.’ Look at that. Southern hospitality until the end.”

The move came mere hours after the U.S. President warned the newly Democratic-controlled House of Representatives not to launch new investigations into him, threatening to retaliate by starting investigations of his own into Democratic legislators and refusing to work with them on legislation.

Kimmel: “In the letter, he said he operated with integrity and strove to uphold the rule of law. And Trump was like, ‘Yeah, why do you think I fired you?’”

Video: President Trump Gets His Wish As Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns

Meyers: “OK, but if it’s at his request, then it’s not a resignation. That’s like saying that you’re breaking up with someone because you don’t like the way they threw you out of the house.”

Noah: “Apparently, Trump didn’t fire him to his face or even call him. He just sent John Kelly with a prewritten resignation letter. John Kelly probably got there and he was like, ‘Alright Jeff, do you want to do it the easy way or the Omarosa way? Which one is it?’”

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Pay attention to the Jeff Sessions firing: the US is already in a constitutional crisis

Kimmel: “Trump didn’t even fire him, he had his chief of staff, John Kelly, do it. You know, the one and only thing Trump is good at is firing people, and he can’t even do that.”

Donald Trump is not responsible for every bad thing that happens in America. The press was already distrusted by many Americans before his vitriolic campaign—though it certainly stoked their enmity—with citizens increasingly siloed into their own closed communities, both online and off. And maybe Robert Mueller, reportedly writing up his final report on the presidents alleged obstruction of justice and collusion, will be allowed to see his work through; whether that report sees the light of day is another matter. But the last day or so has shown how chaotic politics under Trump will remain until at least 2021. Americans, in spite of a buzzing economy, were not high on the national outlook when they went to the ballot box for the midterms, exit polls showed. Whats happened since suggests their long national nightmare is nowhere near over. Gun reform is a nonstarter, white nationalists are not about to be reined in by this Congress, the media is still a target, and the president has loyalists atop the legal system, from the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court.

Colbert: “Who on earth would be willing to go down in history as the man who stepped in to fire Robert Mueller? Enter new acting attorney general and Caucasian M&M, Matt Whitaker. Now, there is no way to know Whitaker’s stance on the Mueller investigation — unless you read his op-ed, ‘Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far.’”

After Democrats (mostly) cleaned up on Tuesday, no one actually expected Donald Trump to act like a president who had just been rejected and cost dozens of his partys incumbents their jobs. But in addition to blustering on Twitter about his partys great success—Republicans did win seats in the Senate—Trump forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man once derided by Democrats as an unreformed possibly neo-Confederate stooge but who had emerged as a sort of check on Trumps worst impulses. Most importantly, even as he sent the criminal justice system into retrograde, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation—he had been a key part of Trumps campaign and had misled Congress about meetings with Russians, so this was a responsible move. The recusal effectively protected Robert Muellers probe, because Sessionss second in command, Rod Rosenstein, was a mainstream career prosecutor who consistently expressed confidence in Muellers integrity.

Noah: “Just because Matt Whitaker came up with a hypothetical plan to fire Robert Mueller doesn’t mean that he actually thinks the Mueller investigation has gone too far — except there is the fact that he also wrote an op-ed that was literally called, ‘Mueller’s investigation of Trump has gone too far.’ Which to me is kind of a red flag.”

Video: Jeff Sessions submits resignation letter to Trump

Colbert: “So Trump just handpicked a guy who wants to stop the investigation into Donald Trump to be in charge of the investigation of Donald Trump. That’s like a defendant at a murder trial saying, ‘Your Honour, you’re fired. I’m going to have my friend Terry here take your seat. Now, then, Terry, if it please the court, did you throw that knife into the river like I asked? The correct answer is no.’”

The president also doubled-down on hate Wednesday, calling a black reporters question about white nationalism “racist.” Within hours of that surreal encounter, a prominent white nationalist—whose far-right groups slogan “You will not replace us” became the slightly more infamous “Jews will not erase us” chant at Charlottesville last summer—tweeted a photo of himself appearing at the White House. The picture apparently stemmed from a visit last month, but regardless of when picture was taken, it served as a reminder that white nationalists of all stripes have been emboldened under this president, and some have enjoyed disturbing access to the highest corridors of power. A couple dozen House seats changing hands—and Democrats having new investigatory powers—is unlikely to make such people feel less safe in expressing themselves, violently or otherwise.

Hundreds of Protests Nationwide Are Calling on Congress to Protect the Mueller Investigation. Heres Who Organized Them

Kimmel: “This guy wrote an op-ed critical of the Mueller investigation. That man will now be overseeing the Mueller investigation. OK, Bob Mueller, time to snort some Adderall and get that report done ASAP, you understand?”

We still dont know how or whether Whitaker will interfere with Mueller, but initial reports suggested he had assumed supervisory authority over the probe, replacing Rosenstein in that role. And while House Democrats have made noise about using their bully pulpit to give Mueller a platform if he were fired—and can fire off their own subpoenas—the Justice Department under Whitaker remains the only real mechanism for compelling presidential cooperation with outside probes. Theres a chance Whitakers appointment gets challenged in court, as it was ostensibly carried out under a somewhat contested law concerning federal appointments. And Trump may well formally nominate someone else to take on the gig full time. But so long as Whitakers in that role, and it could be for months, the ability of anyone to rein Trump is in worse shape than it was on Tuesday.

Noah: “The Mueller investigation is in danger. And somebody tells that me right now Robert Mueller is in a bathroom stall trying finish his homework before they shut it all down.”

Noah: “(Trump) didn’t fire Jeff Sessions. He just said ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and then the curse was broken.”

SHARETWEETOn Wednesday night, an ex-marine opened fire at a country music bar west of LA, killing a dozen people, including a sheriffs sergeant, before apparently taking his own life. It was the latest spasm of mass murder by gunfire in a country where such tragedies have become not just routine but seemingly inevitable. As the New York Times reported, some of the survivors from the Wednesday shooting, at the Borderline Bar & Grill, had escaped the mass slaughter at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival that killed 58 and wounded over 800 more in Las Vegas last October. Now they found themselves in the midst of a fresh nightmare barely a year later.

Kimmel: “That’s him exiting the building, leaving the Department of Justice to go back to live in his hollow tree.”

Fallon: “It makes sense that he’s leaving now. Santa needs him to start making toys at the North Pole.”

Corden: “I’ll tell you one thing: Jeff Sessions is leaving some very, very tiny shoes to fill.”

Meyers: “That’s right, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped down today. Apparently he’s been on a stool this whole time.”

Noah: “People were talking about Sessions getting fired for so long, he probably already had a backup job lined up. He’s like, ‘It’s OK, I’m already assistant manager at Baby Gap. But I want you to know I’ve recused myself from folding those onesies.’ “

Colbert: “No word what Jeff Sessions is going to do next. I assume he’s going to spend more time with his family separation policy.”

The firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions fits a clear pattern of interference from President Donald Trump in the work of the Department of Justice and the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he said in a statement. There is no mistaking what this means, and what is at stake: this is a constitutionally perilous moment for our country and for the president.

In the middle of an already chaotic day, President Donald Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign — and several hours later, late-night comedians were ready to weigh in. Even they couldn’t believe the swiftness of the news cycle.

Democrats warned against interference in the probe. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount. Schumer and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become House speaker next year, called on Whitaker to recuse himself, with Schumer citing “his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation.”

Trumps acting attorney general: Judges should be Christian with a “biblical view of justice”

“We’re like, forget the Democrats in the House. Clearly, the big news of the day is now going to be Trump and his fiery press conference,” Trevor Noah said on “The Daily Show.” “But then Trump stood up again and said, ‘Oh, you think I’m the story of the day? No, I’m the story of the day.’”

They all zeroed in on Trump’s anger toward Sessions, particularly about the fact that he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Recode Daily: Trumps first post-midterms move: Dump Attorney General Jeff Sessions

“Trump has made no secret of his feelings about Sessions,” Colbert said. “He’s called Sessions a ‘traitor,’ ‘a dumb Southerner,’ ‘Mr. Magoo,’ and perhaps most humiliating of all, ‘member of my administration.’”

Trump installed Matt Whitaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as acting attorney general and put him in charge of the Russia probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to a U.S. official. Whitaker, who has been a critic of the Russia probe, now has the power to fire Mueller or curb his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Here are some of the other topics that Noah, Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Jimmy Fallon all covered:

Colbert: “Now, there is some confusion among stupid people as to whether Sessions was fired or he resigned. He did submit a letter of resignation, but it began, ‘At your request, I am submitting my resignation.’ Look at that. Southern hospitality until the end.”

Sessions took the lead in imposing Trumps travel ban targeting a number of mostly Muslim nations, canceling the so-called Dreamer program that let the children of undocumented immigrants remain in the U.S. and forcing the separation of migrant families as part of a border crossing crackdown.

Matthew Whitaker: acting attorney general said judges should be Christian

Kimmel: “In the letter, he said he operated with integrity and strove to uphold the rule of law. And Trump was like, ‘Yeah, why do you think I fired you?’”

Whitaker, in a Justice Department statement released on Wednesday evening said, “I am committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans.” He added that it had “been a privilege” to work under Sessions.

Whitakers friendship with Trump aide reignites recusal debate

Meyers: “OK, but if it’s at his request, then it’s not a resignation. That’s like saying that you’re breaking up with someone because you don’t like the way they threw you out of the house.”

Activists call for nationwide protests to protect Mueller investigation

Noah: “Apparently, Trump didn’t fire him to his face or even call him. He just sent John Kelly with a prewritten resignation letter. John Kelly probably got there and he was like, ‘Alright Jeff, do you want to do it the easy way or the Omarosa way? Which one is it?’”

Kimmel: “Trump didn’t even fire him, he had his chief of staff, John Kelly, do it. You know, the one and only thing Trump is good at is firing people, and he can’t even do that.”

Colbert: “Who on earth would be willing to go down in history as the man who stepped in to fire Robert Mueller? Enter new acting attorney general and Caucasian M&M, Matt Whitaker. Now, there is no way to know Whitaker’s stance on the Mueller investigation — unless you read his op-ed, ‘Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far.’”

Noah: “Just because Matt Whitaker came up with a hypothetical plan to fire Robert Mueller doesn’t mean that he actually thinks the Mueller investigation has gone too far — except there is the fact that he also wrote an op-ed that was literally called, ‘Mueller’s investigation of Trump has gone too far.’ Which to me is kind of a red flag.”

Colbert: “So Trump just handpicked a guy who wants to stop the investigation into Donald Trump to be in charge of the investigation of Donald Trump. That’s like a defendant at a murder trial saying, ‘Your Honour, you’re fired. I’m going to have my friend Terry here take your seat. Now, then, Terry, if it please the court, did you throw that knife into the river like I asked? The correct answer is no.’”

The Presidents Slow-Motion Plot to Obstruct Justice Is Fully Underway

Kimmel: “This guy wrote an op-ed critical of the Mueller investigation. That man will now be overseeing the Mueller investigation. OK, Bob Mueller, time to snort some Adderall and get that report done ASAP, you understand?”

Noah: “The Mueller investigation is in danger. And somebody tells that me right now Robert Mueller is in a bathroom stall trying finish his homework before they shut it all down.”

Sessions replaced by critic of Mueller

Noah: “(Trump) didn’t fire Jeff Sessions. He just said ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and then the curse was broken.”

Dramatic firing proof Trump is in panic mode over Russia probe

Kimmel: “That’s him exiting the building, leaving the Department of Justice to go back to live in his hollow tree.”

Fallon: “It makes sense that he’s leaving now. Santa needs him to start making toys at the North Pole.”

Corden: “I’ll tell you one thing: Jeff Sessions is leaving some very, very tiny shoes to fill.”

How Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could affect the Russia investigation

Meyers: “That’s right, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped down today. Apparently he’s been on a stool this whole time.”

Noah: “People were talking about Sessions getting fired for so long, he probably already had a backup job lined up. He’s like, ‘It’s OK, I’m already assistant manager at Baby Gap. But I want you to know I’ve recused myself from folding those onesies.’ “

Colbert: “No word what Jeff Sessions is going to do next. I assume he’s going to spend more time with his family separation policy.”