White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George Conway, has not refrained from criticizing his wife’s boss. George Conway, Kellyanne’s husband, has often shared his disapproval of the president, his administration, and his policies, with the public.
On Thursday, The New York Times published an op-ed written by George Conway and another lawyer, Neal Katyal. In the piece, Conway says that Trump’s decision to appoint a replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who he fired on Wednesday, is unconstitutional. President Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist who has previously criticized the Mueller investigation publicly, to serve as acting Attorney General.
George Conway argues that the appointment violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. That Clause requires that principal officers be confirmed by the Senate. In his op-ed, Conway wrote, “President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional.” He added, “It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.”
Whitaker was previously Sessions’ chief of staff. Whitaker’s appointment means that the Mueller investigation will no longer be overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as Whitaker will presumably not recuse himself as Sessions did. Many have called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, but it appears unlikely he will follow that advice.
The lawyers’ op-ed points to a Supreme Court decision that held a lawyer’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board invalid because the lawyer had not received Senate confirmation. Conway and Katyal wrote, “What goes for a mere lawyer at the [National Labor Relations Board] goes in spades for the attorney general of the United States, the head of the Justice Department and one of the most important people in the federal government.”
The op-ed asserts, “For the president to install Mr. Whitaker as our chief law enforcement officer is to betray the entire structure of our charter document.”