Whitaker assures GOP senator on Mueller probe

PHOTO: Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends the annual Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2018. PlayNicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Sessions' replacement a critic of Mueller investigation

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker told him he is going to "honor regular order" when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation.

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The two met for a private meeting in his office Thursday afternoon. Whitaker replaces Jeff Sessions, who was ousted last week.

Following the private meeting, Graham told reporters that he doesn't believe Whitaker will do "anything unsavory" when it comes to interfering with the Russia probe.

"I've a lot of confidence that Mr. Mueller will be allowed to do his job and that the legal process that was in place before Mr. Whitaker arrived will be followed," Graham said.

He went on: "And I have every confidence he’ll make reasoned decisions when his time comes and that the investigation is not in jeopardy."

PHOTO: Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends the annual Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2018. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends the annual Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2018.

Graham also says Whitaker did not express any reservations about how the Mueller investigation was handled thus far.

"Not at all as far as he knows, no, not at all," Graham said. "He’s seen nothing out of bounds. No concerns at all about Mr. Mueller."

In his new role, Whitaker will now oversee the probe, which he has publicly criticized the probe in the past, including in an August 2017 op-ed for CNN. Sessions had previously recused himself of all Justice Department activity related to the investigation into Russian meddling.

Now, lawmakers are concerned that Whitaker’s objectivity is compromised because of his vocal criticism before joining the administration.

Despite calls from Democrats for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe, Graham separately told Fox News that Whitaker doesn't feel the need to do so.

PHOTO: Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a press conference at the Department of Justice on Oct. 26, 2018, in Washington. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a press conference at the Department of Justice on Oct. 26, 2018, in Washington.

"He believed he did not have a reason to recuse himself legally or factually," Graham told Fox News. "Nothing I’ve seen would require him to be recused. I think he's got the background and the judgment to be able to fulfill this job."