Slayer of the DP Newsbot
- Aug 27, 2005
- Reaction score
- Houston, TX
- Political Leaning
The Justice Department vigorously defended the appointment of Matt Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general, saying Wednesday that the selection was entirely legal and that the White House was given that advice beforehand.
Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, said in a 20-page written opinion that his office told the White House — before Whitaker was appointed — that the president "could designate a senior Department of Justice official, such as Whitaker, as acting attorney general."
The opinion from the Justice Department cites 160 cases; however, the AG is not among them, and is not included in the Federal Vacancies Act. The last president who replaced an AG in this matter was Andrew Johnson, who installed Henry Stanbury as AG without confirmation, and bypassing the Assistant DA in the process. This was a major factor in his being impeached. After he survived conviction in the Senate by one vote, he then decided to rub it in by appointing Stanbury to the Supreme Court. Congress reacted by doing away with 3 SCOTUS seats so that there was no slot for Stanbury to be appointed to.
Here we go again.