WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s pick for acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, is a close friend of Trump’s 2016 election campaign co-chair, and a former government ethics chief said the friendship makes Whitaker unable to oversee impartially a politically charged investigation into the campaign.
Matthew Whitaker, named on Wednesday to replace Jeff Sessions, will directly oversee Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials.
Whitaker publicly criticized Mueller’s investigation before he was hired as Sessions’ chief of staff last year.
Sam Clovis, who was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign and has testified before the grand jury in the Mueller investigation, said he and Whitaker became good friends when they ran against each other as Republicans in a 2014 Senate primary campaign in Iowa. Whitaker also later served as the chairman of a Clovis campaign for state…