Under the special counsel regulation, Mr Whitaker has the power to block any "investigative or procedural step" Mr Mueller recommends, such as bringing an indictment or subpoena, if he determines it to be "inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices".
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) watchdog group called on Congress to protect Mr Mueller's job and investigation, saying in a statement: "So far they have refused, because congressional leaders did not believe there was an immediate threat".
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is expected to oversee the special counsel's investigation into potential coordination between the president's Republican campaign and Russian Federation now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned. "That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel", Whitaker wrote.
And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Judiciary Committee member who once said there'd be "holy hell to pay" if Trump fired Sessions, called the relationship "dysfunctional" and said he thought the president had the right after the midterm to select a new attorney general.
The department's No. 2, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, took over and appointed Mr Mueller after Mr Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. The former attorney general submitted a letter of resignation at the president's "request".
Asked if he sees this move as an attempt to undermine the investigation, Dean said yes.
In an op-ed for CNN, Whitaker wrote: "Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russian Federation 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing".
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Munro-Leighton admitted to investigators that she lied about being the author of a letter received by the committee. Supreme Court at the Capitol in Washington on September 4, 2018. "I was angry, and I sent it out", she said.
Whitaker argued that Mueller should not be able to investigate the Trump family's finances in the course of his probe.
Bondi, who is term-limited as attorney general in the Sunshine State, has always been a Trump ally. Trump said Wednesday that he did not plan to stop the investigation. He had previously said in 2017 that "there will be holy hell to pay" if Sessions was sacked.
Good cause is a hard thing to show, especially since Mr Mueller's actions were approved by the deputy attorney general, said Jens Ohlin, a professor of criminal law at Cornell Law School. In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Mr. Whitaker said during a July 2017 interview with CNN.
Nadler says he wants to know why Trump is making the change and "who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller's investigation?"
Others being considered include Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, retiring Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, former Attorney General William P. Barr and Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The word "investigation" is clearly defined directly preceding it in the same sentence specifically as coordination between individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump and Russian Federation.