Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out at the Department of Justice and President Donald Trump has installed Matt Whitaker - Sessions' former chief of staff - as his acting replacement, anti-Trump forces are seeing red.
The Senate's top Republican expressed confidence Friday that the Russian Federation investigation will be allowed to run its course, saying President Donald Trump has never signaled to him that special counsel Robert Mueller could be fired.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department has said Whitaker would oversee all matters under its jurisdiction, including the Mueller investigation. That contradicted Trump's remarks on Fox News last month, when he called Whitaker "a great guy" and said, "I mean, I know Matt Whitaker".
Speaking to reporters at the White House before departing for Paris, Trump said, "I don't know Matt Whitaker".
"I'm concerned about the fact Trump is going after the special counsel, he's made it very clear that he does not want this investigation to continue", Calland said.
"Whitaker is a political appointee who is not serving in a Senate confirmed position in the Justice Department", Schumer wrote.
Whitaker was not hired as Sessions' chief of staff by virtue of any pre-existing relationship with Sessions, but instead because White House officials believed Whitaker's loyalties would lie at the White House and not with the beleaguered attorney general, sources said.
In an op-ed in August a year ago he publicly urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - who oversees the probe - to "limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel".
He subsequently attacked the investigation on CNN as too broad, saying - as Trump has - that Mueller has no business examining the finances and Russian ties of the president's businesses. He also tweeted an ex-prosecutor's opinion piece that described a "Mueller lynch mob" and said it was "worth a read".
Speaking to reporters at the White House before he left on a trip to Paris, Trump defended his choice of Whitaker, saying the former United States attorney for the southern district of Iowa had an excellent reputation and came highly recommended by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is now Trump's ambassador to China. But these are not ordinary times and Donald Trump is not an ordinary president. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions and was always extremely highly thought of and he still is.
Some legal analysts say that choice may be illegal because unlike Rosenstein, Whitaker had not been confirmed for his job by the Senate.
Whitaker's appointment came at a crucial moment. Trump argues that since Whitaker was confirmed 14 years ago as the US attorney for southern Iowa, he doesn't need Senate confirmation.
The attorneys general also said Muller must have the "full authority to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any violations of federal law". "That also happens to be my view". Another protester showed up in a full inflatable body suit depicting President Trump as a baby, bottle in hand.
Trump told reporters he has not discussed the post with Christie, who he said was "a friend of mine" and "a good man".