HARRISBURG, Pa. — As part of a 15-state coalition challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting U.S. attorney general, an amicus brief has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland by the attorneys general of Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.
The amicus brief filed by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, argues in favor of Maryland's efforts for an injunction against Whitaker being able to use any authority of the U.S. attorney general including substituting Rod Rosenstein, U.S. deputy attorney general, in a lawsuit between Maryland and the federal government.
“Pennsylvania depends on a strong working relationship with the Department of Justice to coordinate law enforcement activity, investigate and prosecute serious offenders, and administer millions of dollars in grant programs," Shapiro said in a statement. "The naming of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is unlawful, and his appointment threatens the legitimacy of the department’s actions and its vital relationship with the states. I’ve filed in court to protect Pennsylvania’s interests and immediately prevent actions of an illegitimate attorney general whose decisions could be invalidated.
“All actions taken by an acting attorney general who is legally ineligible to serve could be vulnerable to challenge. Whitaker’s appointment has opened the Department of Justice up to those challenges, which create grave risks for Pennsylvania. I urge the Trump administration to follow the law, respect the Senate’s confirmation authority, and follow the legal process to appoint a legitimate attorney general."