House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said “this is a perilously constitutional moment,” when responding to President Donald Trump’s dismissal of ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“This is a perilously constitutional moment; I don’t say it’s a constitutional crisis quite yet, but it’s a perilous time,” Pelosi said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo PrimeTime.”
On Wednesday, just a day after the midterm elections, Sessions offered his resignation at the President’s request. Sessions’ firing came after a tumultuous tenure in which Trump would regularly berate the head of the Justice Department for recusing himself from any investigations involving the Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, including the special counsel probe into Russian interference.
In Sessions’ place, Trump has announced Matthew Whitaker as the acting attorney general. Whitaker is also expected to assume oversight responsibilities over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
CNN previously reported that Whitaker has expressed deep skepticism of Mueller’s Russia probe, including calling Mueller’s appointment “ridiculous” and “a little fishy.”
Pelosi said Democrats concerns are regarding whether there will be interference into the investigation, which is looking at possible collusion with Russia and Trump campaign associates. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.
“Our concern is of course that they will interfere and say the President is above the law,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also pointed to letters sent on Wednesday by the expected new chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence and Oversight committees, ordering top Trump administration officials to preserve documents connected to Mueller’s investigation and Sessions’ dismissal.
Pelosi, who is currently positioning herself to become the next House speaker, called the move to preserve the documents involved in the Mueller investigation “essential.”
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.