Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Nov 26 2018

Ferguson and 14 other AGs supporting Maryland’s request to sideline Whitaker

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement today after joining an amicus — friend of the court — brief supporting the State of Maryland’s challenge to the constitutionality of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General:

“Once again, President Trump is ignoring the law, this time by ‘appointing’ an illegitimate attorney general,” said Ferguson. “This must be challenged.”

The brief, signed by 14 other Attorneys General, supports Maryland’s request to block Whitaker from exercising the authority of the U.S. Attorney General’s office, or to substitute Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his place. The Attorneys General point out that Whitaker’s appointment is “fraught with constitutional doubts.”

“The legal controversy surrounding Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has threatened the legitimacy of the Department’s actions and the vital relationship between the Department and the States,” the Attorneys General write. “The Amici States therefore have an urgent interest in a lawful resolution of this issue, so that no doubts surround the legitimacy and authority of the Office of the U.S. Attorney General.”

Earlier this month, Ferguson and 17 other Attorneys General urged Whitaker to recuse himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Whitaker has made widely circulated public statements criticizing the Special Counsel’s investigation.


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the State of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.



Dan Jackson, Acting Communications Director, (360) 753-2716; danj1@atg.wa.gov