Elder Patriot – President Trump’s appointment of Matthew G. Whitaker to replace outgoing Attorney General Jeff Sessions has paid immediate dividends.
Along with Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, Whitaker released a joint statement restricting the ability of illegal immigrants to be granted asylum.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico issued under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be rendered ineligible for asylum.
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and INA states that “[w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
In Section 208(d)(5)(B) of the INA, Congress specified that the Attorney General “may provide by regulation for any other conditions or limitations on the consideration of an application for asylum.”
Given the timing, it’s almost guaranteed that Jeff Sessions had a hand in crafting these documents as well.
The entire statement can be viewed here.
The Interim Final Rule can be viewed here.
The role of the attorney general as an independent arbiter in this matter cannot be overstated.
In his impromptu presser while departing the White House yesterday, President Trump made clear to emphasize that he only knew Whitaker peripherally as Sessions’ Chief of Staff.
The transcript of President Trump’s remarks is available here. The president’s relevant statement follows:
THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don’t know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has a great reputation, and that’s what I wanted. I also wanted to do something which, frankly, I could have brought somebody very easily from the outside. I didn’t want to do that. When Sessions left, what I did, very simply, is take a man who worked for Sessions. Again, he worked for Jeff Sessions. He’s a highly respected man, especially by law enforcement. And I think he’s going to do a great job. He’s there in an acting position. He’s a — probably, from what I hear — a very strong person, a very strong personality. And I think that’s what they need.
… Now, in all fairness to Matt Whitaker, who, again, I didn’t know — okay? — other than through reputation. His reputation is excellent.
President Trump went to great pains to distance himself from his new AG. Additionally, he took to Twitter to reiterate that distance:
Ask yourself why?
President Trump is handcuffed by any perception that his Attorney General might not be independent and therefore might represent a threat to special counsel Robert Mueller’s ability to sabotage the Trump presidency in defense of the corrupt D.C. swamp.
Calls for Whitaker’s recusal began immediately upon his appointment because the new AG now had assumed authority over the special counsel. Jeff Carlson writing for The Epoch Times confirmed this:
An anonymous official with the Department of Justice (DOJ) told The Washington Post that Whitaker would assume authority over the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein had previously been responsible for overseeing the special counsel investigation as the result of Sessions’ prior recusal on all matters relating to Russia.
Rod Rosenstein had cemented his swamp-protector bona fides over many years of disservice to the American people, but Whitaker offers the corrupt Washington Uniparty no such comfort.
We have no assurances about Matthew Whitaker’s mettle either, but he’s off to a solid start.