All that said, Whitaker has not commented extensively on the Russia investigation and the comments made in his op-ed should be uncontroversial. They do not question the worthiness of investigating Russia’s interference in the election, and they do not denigrate the Mueller investigation — they merely maintain that the investigation should stay within the bounds that Rosenstein has sought to assure the public it has respected.
Matthew Whitaker is well credentialed and appears to be an excellent choice to assume the duties of attorney general, at least temporarily (and perhaps permanently, though under the Vacancy Act, he could not be nominated to be AG while serving as acting AG). The removal of Rod Rosenstein as Mueller’s overseer is inevitable and overdue — which is not a condemnation of him, but a recognition that he should not be supervising an investigation in which his own actions are implicated. Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation appears to be at a ripe stage, and if Acting Attorney General Whitaker helps steer it to a prompt conclusion, that is all to the good.
Whitaker is being prejudged in some quarters as a Trump “loyalist.” That pejorative label is more a function of what the president has reportedly said that he’d like to have in an attorney general (and in other executive offices serving the president). It is not a function of anything Whitaker has actually done. Let’s see how he performs over the next few months. I’m betting he’ll do a fine job.