Top Democrats urge acting attorney general to step aside from Mueller probe

FILE PHOTO: Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is pictured in an undated photo obtained by Reuters November 8, 2018. Courtesy U.S. Department of Justice/via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top congressional Democrats on Sunday urged acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to step aside from overseeing a special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

In a letter to the Justice Department’s chief ethics officer, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats advised Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. “Allowing a vocal opponent of the investigation to oversee it will severely undermine public confidence in the Justice Department’s work on this critically important matter,” the letter said.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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