Matt Whitaker doesn't need to recuse himself from the Russia probe, DOJ reportedly says

Matthew Whitaker.
(Image credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Ethics officials at the Department of Justice have told Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker he doesn't need to recuse himself from the Russia probe, CNN reported Thursday.

Whitaker has "been in ongoing discussions" with these officials in the weeks since President Trump named him as the replacement for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to this report. Sessions had recused himself from any investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Whitaker was called upon to do the same when it was reported that he publicly criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe in the past. For instance, he argued in an op-ed in 2017 that the investigation had gone too far.

But it was later reported that Whitaker had no intention of recusing himself, and he has now reportedly been advised not to do so. Whitaker, CNN reports, will brief senators on this development Thursday. President Trump has nominated William Barr to become his new attorney general on a permanent basis, although similar concerns have arisen about him, as The Wall Street Journal reports that Barr criticized the Russia probe as being built around a "fatally misconceived" theory. Read more at CNN.

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