Judge Andrew Napolitano told viewers of two Fox News shows today that Matt Whitaker did not have the required Senate confirmation to become acting attorney general. Donald Trump named Whitaker today in the wake of Jeff Sessions’ forced resignation.
Napolitano told anchor Shepard Smith today that the acting attorney general position requires Senate confirmation to a “senior leadership position,” which Whitaker never received.
NAPOLITANO: Though Mr. Whitaker is now Acting Attorney General Whitaker, as a former United States attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and was confirmed by the Senate for that, he was not confirmed by the Senate to become acting attorney general and the statute requires that the human being who runs the Department of Justice had been confirmed by the Senate for a senior leadership position.
Napolitano noted that there are only three people who meet the requirements: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Solicitor General Noel Francisco and a person underneath Francisco whose name Napolitano could not recall. “So there may be an issue with whether or not [Whitaker] is legally qualified to serve as acting attorney general,” Napolitano added.
During the previous hour, Napolitano also told viewers of The Daily Briefing that Whitaker did not meet the statutory requirement to become acting attorney general.
Watch Napolitano call out the legitimacy of Whitaker’s appointment below, from the November 7, 2018 Shepard Smith Reporting.
According to the regulations, a fired employee must be replaced by the next in the chain of command.