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Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has been advised by Justice Department officials that he does not need to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, despite at least one ethics official concluding that he should, CNN's Laura Jarrett and the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Whitaker has been a critic of Robert Mueller's investigation in the past, writing last year that it was "going too far." Because of this, congressional Democrats and some legal experts have called on him to recuse himself from the attorney general's role of overseeing the special counsel's probe. But so far Whitaker has been involved in the investigation's major developments, according to CNN, and was expected to speak with senators about Michael Cohen's guilty plea on Thursday.

Background: Whitaker never requested nor received any formal recommendations on whether he should recuse himself, but he did meet with ethics officials to discuss the matter, CNN and the Post reported. At least one ethics official considered it a "close call" and ultimately recommended Whitaker should recuse himself.

  • But a four-person team of advisers, including one U.S. attorney handpicked by Whitaker, told the acting attorney general he did not need to recuse himself from overseeing the probe, according to the Post.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the one ethics official who recommended Whitaker recuse himself, as reported by CNN and the Washington Post.

Go deeper

The Week America Changed

Sandberg thought Zuckerberg was "nuts" on remote work in January 2020

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Image

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.

Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.