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Matt Whitaker
FILE - In this April 24, 2014, file photo, then-Iowa Republican senatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker watches before a live televised debate in Johnston, Iowa. President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he was naming Whitaker, as acting attorney general, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out Nov. 7, 2018, as the country's chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Acting AG Whitaker will consult with ethics officials over whether to recuse from Russia probe

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BY MICHAEL BALSAMO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) — Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker will consult with Justice Department ethics officials about "matters that may warrant recusal" amid pressure from Democrats to step aside from overseeing the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec says Whitaker is fully committed to following appropriate procedures, including consulting with senior ethics officials about oversight responsibilities.

Whitaker has been publicly critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In one interview as a commentator for CNN, Whitaker suggested the Mueller probe could be starved of resources.

The Senate's top Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer, has called for Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller probe.

Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter Sunday asking the Justice Department to disclose whether Whitaker had been advised to recuse himself.

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