Matthew Whitaker, the newly appointed acting attorney general, said in a radio interview in 2017 that he was concerned the grand juries used in the special counsel’s investigation would be biased against President Donald Trump because they were drawn from heavily Democratic areas.
“I think the grand jury makeup is concerning based on where they called this grand jury,” Whitaker said in an Aug. 11, 2017, interview on SiriusXM Patriot’s “David Webb Show.”
Whitaker, who was executive director at the time for a think tank called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), was referring to grand juries empaneled in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Whitaker said voters in the Virginia district were “typically Democrat” while the grand jury in D.C. was drawn from a “96 percent Hillary Clinton voter area.”
“They’re pulling from those voters and those neighborhoods and those communities, and so those members of those grand juries could have a bias against this president,” said Whitaker, who is now overseeing the Mueller investigation after Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general Wednesday.
“The law is supposed to be blind and it’s not supposed to be partisan and not supposed to be used as a cudgel to punish our political enemies.”
Whitaker’s sentiment reflected a complaint leveled by many Trump supporters following an FBI raid against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“It gives the prosecutor the power to indict in the District of Columbia, which is a district that is heavily Democratic, and would have a jury pool very unfavorable to Trump and the Trump Administration,” Alan Dershowitz, a Democratic constitutional law professor, said Aug. 4, 2017.
Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney from Iowa, left a lengthy trail of comments that shed light on his views of the Mueller investigation. Trump critics blasted Whitaker’s appointment, with many expressing concern that he will either end the Mueller probe or stifle the investigation.
Whitaker wrote an op-ed Aug. 6, 2017, for CNN, where he was a contributor at the time, in which he argued the Mueller investigation would cross a “red line” if it began focusing on Trump family finances.
In a radio interview on June 21, 2017, he claimed “there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign.”
“There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be just combining those two issues,” he said in the interview, first reported by The Daily Beast.
“The last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or even improper relations with the Russians. It’s that simple.”
In his interview on the “David Webb Show,” Whitaker expressed frustration at what he said was the slow pace of the investigation.
“Why don’t these folks hurry up?” he asked.
“I mean, it is not helping this administration — it’s really not the federal government generally, to have the president and his associates under a cloud of investigation.”
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